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Stirling offered ‘transformational’ city deal in Autumn Statement

Chancellor Philip Hammond announced yesterday that the government will begin negotiating a city deal with Stirling, meaning that every place in Scotland will now be on course to having a city deal.

Hammond announced the deal in his Autumn Statement speech, following 18 months of campaigning from Stirling local government and business leaders.

The chancellor also “recommitted” to the existing deals with Edinburgh and the Tay cities of Perth and Dundee, as well as Swansea and North Wales – guaranteeing that devolution “remains at the heart of this government’s approach to supporting local growth”.

Cllr Johanna Boyd, leader of Stirling Council, said: “This is fantastic news for Stirling. Today’s decision will be transformational for Stirling and its surrounding areas but, just as importantly, it endorses the ambition that Stirling Council and its many partners have for the area, and I am grateful to the UK Government for recognising and enabling that.

“Our ambitions also go way beyond infrastructure to focus on improving the prospects and quality of life for all our people, through developments in skills and employability, social innovation, housing, transport and energy.”

Cllr Bobby McGill, leader of Clackmannanshire Council, which is also included in the deal, added that the council was “delighted” it can now move ahead with ambitions for the region.

Stewart Carruth, chief executive of Stirling Council, also argued his council was “starting from a very strong base” and the deal would “benefit the entire city-region”.

The news follows the signing of a £250m Aberdeen deal on Monday, while city deals have also been put forward for Inverness and Glasgow.

Separately, Hammond also announced a “significant increase” in Barnet formula funding for devolved administrations, with £800m to Scotland, £400m to Wales and £250m to Northern Ireland.

In England, the government’s devolution agenda has met with mixed success recently. This week, communities and local government secretary Sajid Javid withdrew the Norfolk and Suffolk devolution deal after it was rejected by local councils, but the Cambridge and Peterborough deal has been approved.

(Image c. Andrew Milligan from PA Archive and PA Images)

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