A consultation begins on Monday to help shape the economic future of Edinburgh and the South East of Scotland region.

The area is covered by the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal and as part of that project there is a draft plan to build the economy of the area including everything from transport to education and housing.

The Regional Enterprise Council which is leading the consultation is looking for the opinions of people and business to help with forming up policies in future. The council want to ensure that the correct infrastructure is in place so that the region can be a key contributor to the Scottish economy.

Claire Pattullo Chair of the Regional Enterprise Council, said:  “This is a hugely important piece of work, particularly as we move into the recovery phase of the Covid-19 pandemic and are still assessing the effects of Brexit. The draft has been created to stimulate debate and invite comments to help shape a finalised framework. This will be a document that sets out long-term aspirations for the region and informs policy development for the next 20 years.

“It has been developed with input from public, private and third sector organisations and aims to address the region’s challenges and opportunities to make Edinburgh and South East Scotland a better place to live, work, study, visit and invest for current and future generations.”

Cllr David Ross, Vice Convener of the City Region Deal Joint Committee, said: “Although it covers a lot of important topics, the consultation has been broken down into sections with guided questions to make it as easy as possible for everyone to give us their thoughts and views on whatever aspects are relevant to them.

“The draft strategy has a strong focus on addressing the challenges of climate change, sustainability, biodiversity loss, inequalities, health and well-being, and the need to create new jobs and businesses while enabling a transition to a net zero economy. In a rapidly changing environment it’s also important that the plan is adaptable, so it will be subject to regular review and update over its lifetime.”

A City Region Deal is a mechanism for accelerating growth by pulling in significant government investment from both the UK and Scottish Governments. By investing this funding in innovation, skills and infrastructure, performance will be significantly improved, and we will tackle inequality and deprivation.

The six local authorities that make up the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City region, together with regional universities, colleges and the private sector signed a City Region Deal with the UK and Scottish Governments, with a value of over £1.3 billion. The City Region Deal will drive productivity and growth while reducing inequalities and deprivation.

The consultation is launched today, Monday 14th June, and is available at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/ESESRegionalProsperity  

Calton Hill. Photo: Martin P. McAdam www.martinmcadam.com