After more than two years of hammering out the final version, the Tay Cities Deal has been signed – but who has won and who has lost out?
The original proposal for the deal was effectively a wishlist drawn up by four local authorities in order to “turbocharge” local economic development.
Dundee, Perth, Angus and Fife councils had asked for support from the public and private sectors to bring more than 50 projects to life.
If every single project had been given a commitment, the deal would have brought £1.8 billion of investment into the area over 10 years and created 15,000 jobs.
However, the deal signed on Thursday in Perth came up short of those ambitious targets.
The Heads of Terms agreement has resulted in a pledge of £700 million, and the creation of 6,000 jobs, over 10-15 years.
About £300m of that will come from the UK and Scottish governments, with the remainder sourced from elsewhere.
Dundee notched up several big wins in the final deal, including a commitment of £8.1m from the UK Government to develop an International Aviation Academy in the city and £9.5m from Holyrood for Dundee Airport.
Studio Dundee, set to replace Yeaman Shore car park at the Waterfront, will be bolstered with £3m from Holyrood.
A new Cyber Security Centre of Excellence, drawing on Abertay’s expertise, is set for £11.7m, while £15m from Westminster will help to establish the UK’s first Forensic Science Research Centre.
The James Hutton Institute, based in Invergowrie, has bagged a combined £62m to support vital food research programmes.
Manufacturing is set for a £10m boost and £4m has been promised to improve digital infrastructure such as 5G mobile networks and rural broadband.
The deal makes several concessions to region`-wide efforts to improve cultural and tourism offerings, with £10m apiece committed to Pitlochry Festival Theatre and a project to boost Perth’s cultural programme.
However, a number of Dundee tourist attractions which had hoped to secure cash in order to modernise have lost out.
The DCA, HMS Unicorn, Discovery Point and Dundee Science Centre all asked for capital funding to support refurb works – none received even as much as a mention in the deal.
However, £37m has been set aside for a Regional Culture and Tourism Investment Programme which could yet support them.
Elsewhere, there are other clear losers in the Tay Cities Deal.
Despite £3.5m for “active travel hubs” and £15m to create a bus and rail interchange in Perth, pleas to improve major transport corridors in Dundee, Perth and Fife fell on deaf ears.
A plan to create a “Cross Tay Link Road” – billed by transport bosses as a “much-needed” road linking Perth to Scone – also failed to make the cut.
And a request for £155m to support decommissioning in Dundee resulted only in a written commitment to boost the sector.
However, projects which did not get money in the deal may yet be funded by other partners.
Dundee City Council leader John Alexander said the deal would still bring benefits despite coming up short, adding: “Our bid was unique in that we put everything in the public domain. It was aspirational and we knew that we wouldn’t get everything asked for.”
However, the value of the deal – less than half of what was aspired to – has left some disappointed.
West End Labour councillor Richard McCready said: “I will be seeking an explanation of the downgrading of expectations of what can be achieved through the deal.”