Thank you for that introduction Charlie, and it is fantastic to be here at the University of Edinburgh to sign off on the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Deal.
We are in one of the great cities of our United Kingdom, at a time of year when it serves not just as the capital of Scotland but as the cultural capital of the world.
I had the privilege of experiencing first-hand some of the cultural riches that the Edinburgh Festivals have to offer earlier today, and a great pleasure it was to do so.
The Festivals are an international calling-card for Edinburgh and the surrounding area and when people come to take part in them they find a city and a region that has huge potential for the future.
You see it clearly in the imagination and creativity on display here every August.
But you see it too in the innovative and ground-breaking work that goes on in this city and area all year round.
In great universities and colleges.
In high-tech businesses.
In financial and legal services hubs.
This is a city and a region that has so much to offer Scotland, the UK and indeed the world.
The Edinburgh and South East City Deal is all about building on those strengths to open up new opportunities for the future…
…in the creative industries, in research, in housing, in transport and in skills…
…and it will have a lasting legacy.
The UK and Scottish Governments are both helping to build the IMPACT Concert Hall – a new venue to cement Edinburgh’s place as the world’s Festival City.
The City Deal partners also want to turn Edinburgh into the Data Capital of Europe.
So we are providing capital investment to develop new data storage and analysis technology here in Edinburgh.
This great new facility, the Bayes Centre, will open in the autumn with UK Government investment, and will provide shared working spaces for applied data science and artificial intelligence research teams.
It is one of five hubs across the city that will use data technology to support research and development activity in sectors of the future, from fin-tech and robotics to bio tech and health sciences.
I want the UK to lead the world in these technologies.
I want us to have the best regulation, the most advanced research and the most lucrative commercial applications.
The City Deal will put Edinburgh at the cutting edge of that work and it is exciting to think about the future possibilities that this investment will open up.
UK City and Growth Deals are a key part of our Modern Industrial Strategy.
The UK Government has already committed over £1 billion to them here in Scotland.
Five have been signed, and three more are being negotiated.
Just like the Modern Industrial Strategy as a whole, they are a partnership between Government at all levels, business and academia to combine our resources and to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.
Because I believe we can achieve far more together than we ever could apart.
So thank you to all the Deal partners for your work to get us here.
The University of Edinburgh, who have hosted us today, as well as Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Napier University, and Queen Margaret University.
To the local authorities: Edinburgh City Council, Midlothian Council, East Lothian Council, West Lothian Council, Scottish Borders Council and Fife Council.
And of course our colleagues in the Scottish Government.
This is a great day for the south-east of Scotland and an exciting step towards a brighter future for this wonderful part of the UK.