Edinburgh & South East Scotland City Region Deal

The Edinburgh & South East Scotland City Region Deal will deliver an estimated 21,000 jobs, promote world-leading research and innovation in the region’s universities, and support the development of a skilled workforce to meet the skills demands in growing sectors.

The Edinburgh & South East Scotland City Region Deal was signed on 7 August 2018.

Through the deal, the UK Government is working together with the Scottish Government, Edinburgh City Council, East Lothian Council, West Lothian Council, Midlothian Council, Fife Council, Scottish Borders Council, partners and the private sector to accelerate sustainable and inclusive economic growth for the city region and Scotland.

£1.3 billion will be spent over 15 years in the region across innovation, skills, transport, culture and housing themes.  £300 million of grant funding has been committed by each of the governments, and a further £730.11 million will come from deal partners.

What’s in the City Region Deal?

The deal programme is aimed at driving productivity and reducing inequalities through five key themes:

  • Research, Development and Innovation: £751 million
  • Integrated Regional Employability and Skills: £25 million
  • Transport: £156 million
  • Culture: £45 million
  • Housing: £313 million


The City Region Deal is supporting the creation of the Dunard Centre; a new music venue located in the heart of Edinburgh.  It will sit just off St Andrew Square, behind and linked to the historic Dundas House. The project is led by a charitable organisation, IMPACT Scotland and will be Edinburgh’s first purpose-built music venue in 100 years. The Dunard Centre will offer world class acoustics in a 1,000-seat auditorium, together with a 200-seat studio for performance, rehearsal and recording. It will also be the new home for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the only Edinburgh-based National Performing Arts Company, and a principal venue for the Edinburgh International Festival.

Research, Development and Innovation

The vision for the Data Driven Innovation (DDI) programme is to establish the region as the Data Capital of Europe. It will deliver five innovation hubs and three innovation parks, along with world-class data infrastructure to support them. The University of Edinburgh video below explains more about the DDI programme:

Bayes Centre
The Bayes Centre is a hub for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (AI). A community of over four hundred internationally recognised scientists, PhD students, and leading industry experts are working together to advance data technology and apply it to real-world challenges.

National Robotarium
The National Robotarium will provide state of the art facilities to co‐locate researchers, engineers, entrepreneurs and educators to deliver the UK’s leading international centre for the generation of new smart robotics companies.

Edinburgh Futures Institute
The Edinburgh Futures Institute will be based at the old Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. It will bring together a range of academic disciplines, with external partners across financial services, cultural industries and the public sector. It will focus on the ethical implications of big data analytics and machine learning, as well as the critical infrastructure needed to drive social, economic, and cultural inclusion.

Usher Institute
The Usher Institute will be a world-leading innovation hub for data-driven advances in the delivery of health & social care. By integrating the activities of clinicians, life scientists and data scientists the hub will enhance the health and wellbeing of patients across the UK and beyond.

Easter Bush
The hub at Easter Bush will build upon existing facilities to become a global location of Agritech excellence: applying data technologies that enable farmers and related industries to improve food production and create sustainable food supply chains.

Innovation Parks and Programme
The deal will deliver three regional innovation projects:

  1. The Food and Drink Innovation Campus in East Lothian will develop and create sustainable new businesses to access a global market for healthy and functional food.
  2. The Fife Industrial Investment Innovation programme will provide flexible space for innovative manufacturing industries with cutting-edge digital and energy capability in Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, Lochgelly and Dunfermline.
  3. The Central Borders Innovation Park, situated next to the Borders Railway terminus at Tweedbank, will deliver high quality business space to stimulate business growth and associated job creation.

Skills and Employability

The deal will improve skills across the region through work with schools, colleges, employers and training providers, with a focus on digital skills. Over 8 years it will deliver an additional 14,700 skill improvements and help 5,300 people into employment with a focus on people with a disability, the workless or working poor, disadvantaged young people, minority ethnic communities, and gender imbalances.

In the village of Newbattle, seven miles south of Edinburgh, Midlothian Council has set up the first in a series of knowledge sharing schools. As a Digital Centre of Excellence Newbattle aims to lead the sector in the use of digital technologies to educate children and create innovative learner journeys that will equip students to thrive in the digital economy and take advantage of the jobs and opportunities the deal is creating.

Further Information

Visit the following sites for further information on the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal:

Visit the Data Driven Innovation programme website - external link
Find out more about City Region and Growth Deals - external link
Visit the Edinburgh City Region Deal website - external link