Glasgow is one of the United Kingdom’s greatest cities and like Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds, it not only has a proud history - it also has a fantastic future.
The city has prospered from industry, innovation and culture but has also been held back by unemployment and skills shortages. This matters for the whole of the UK, because sustainable prosperity will only happen if all our regions and cities are fulfilling their potential.
And for too long governments in London and Edinburgh have acted as though taking powers away from Britain’s great cities is the best way to create growth, rather than trusting the people living there to find their own specific solutions to meet their own unique needs.
But not any more.
This City Deal is a partnership between Glasgow and the UK government and we will also seek a partnership with the Scottish government – this shows how Glasgow can benefit from having the best of both worlds: a devolved government in Scotland and the broad shoulders of the UK government that can use its influence and resources to unlock vital investment.
Glasgow plans to create a £1.1 billion infrastructure fund that will support projects such as the city centre-airport rail link, major improvements to the region’s roads and bus network, and the development of new employment sites.
The UK government is offering £500 million of new funding to support this genuinely ambitious proposal, with local authorities in the region providing a further £130 million. Building on this significant investment we are inviting the Scottish government to match the UK government contribution.
This vote of confidence in Glasgow will also help generate private-sector money so businesses can flourish.
In exchange Glasgow will take active measures to further reduce unemployment and help move people in low-paid jobs into higher paid ones.
These are genuine powers that will change the fortunes of people across the region by creating new jobs, improving transport networks, boosting businesses and providing skills to young people and the long-term unemployed.
So from tomorrow, those who know Glasgow best – the people who live and work here – can decide where this investment can benefit them and their families most. And local leaders will now have the final say in how this money should be spent.
We want Glasgow to have the freedom, power and tools to innovate and succeed for a brighter, more prosperous future. That’s why we applaud the ambitious aim to invest in infrastructure and attract private investment to help local business leaders establish Glasgow as a world leading city.
Only weeks before the Commonwealth Games showcases Glasgow to the world, this City Deal sends a very clear message that the region is open for business.
People make Glasgow – and it is the hardworking people of Glasgow that are helping build a stronger economy and fairer society, creating a lasting legacy for generations to come.
David Cameron, Prime Minister
Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury