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31 May 2018, 07:34
More than £90 million is to be invested in Stirling and Clackmannanshire through a city region deal to drive economic growth across the area.
Working in partnership with Stirling and Clackmannanshire councils, the Scottish and UK governments are each investing £45.1 million with regional partners, including the private sector.
Plans for the area include the creation of an International Environment Centre, an Aquaculture Innovation Hub, which will operate four aquatic research facilities, and new and improved active travel routes.
The Scottish Tartan Centre, a new attraction for visitors to Stirling, will celebrate the history of the fabric.
The deal aims to unlock economic opportunities across the region, delivering new jobs across a range of sectors.
Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: "Scotland's cities and regional communities are the engines of our economy. Today's Stirling and Clackmannanshire city region deal demonstrates our clear and strong commitment to supporting and growing the regional economy.
"That is why the Scottish Government has agreed to invest £45.1 million as part of a £90.2 million city region deal that will deliver significant long-term benefits for Stirling and Clackmannanshire and Scotland as a whole.
"This deal has the power to build on the area's socio-economic strengths and expertise, developing them to transfer the economy, bringing sustained economic growth and positive social impact to all of its communities.
"Building on the region's expertise, the Scottish Government will invest £17 million to support the development of a new International Environment Centre that will provide an integrated approach to cutting-edge research, innovation and skills development to tackle global environmental challenges.
"We will invest up to £15 million to develop and augment key economic assets in culture, heritage and tourism and develop the region's digital capabilities by funding a £2 million Digital District. We will also tackle digital exclusion by investing up to a further £2 million to develop digital hubs in Callander and Alloa."
The city region deal is an agreement between the Scottish Government, UK Government, Stirling Council and Clackmannanshire Council.
Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: "The ambitious and innovative deal will drive economic growth across the region, creating jobs and boosting prosperity for generations to come.
"It is now for Stirling and Clackmannanshire to get on with the hard work needed to turn these proposals into a reality.
"This is just one part of a programme of UK city region deals across Scotland. Today's announcement brings the UK Government's investment in UK city region deals in Scotland to more than £1 billion.
"All of Scotland's seven cities either have, or are in negotiation for, a deal. And talks are also under way on the Borderlands and Ayrshire growth deals.
"The UK Government is working hard to boost economic growth right across the UK. We want to work with the Scottish Government where we can to ensure the sustainability and prosperity of Scotland's economy."
Stirling Council leader Scott Farmer said: "This deal will help Stirling Council write the first page of a fresh new chapter in this area's ancient, famous and storied history."
Clackmannanshire Council leader Ellen Forson said: "I believe that the joint city deal bid provides a unique opportunity to promote shared and sustainable growth in our region over the next 10 years and beyond, building on Clackmannanshire's strengths whilst helping to change the lives of our disadvantaged and excluded residents."