The UK Government has revealed plans for a new innovation and research centre in the Glasgow area, as part of its strategy to “level up” the nations.
The new accelerator would create new jobs for Glasgow in the mould of similar centres in Silicon Valley. It would be one of the three nations across the UK sharing £100m in funding.
Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove is to invite Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, as well as her Welsh counterpart Mark Drakeford, and Paul Givan and Michelle O’Neill from Northern Ireland, to take part in the project.
Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: “We have long supported Glasgow’s campaign to be recognised as a substantial City of Science and Innovation and so we are delighted that Glasgow has been selected as an Innovation Accelerator.
“Valuable initiatives that could be accelerated include Glasgow’s three innovation districts, led by the Universities of Strathclyde and Glasgow, that are helping to develop our prowess in engineering, advanced manufacturing and the health and life sciences. We stand ready to help the city partners in making funding bids.”
The Levelling up Department will also review the community ownership fund so that fans can take control of local assets such as football grounds.
It will see £230m investment in grassroots football being delivered, with funding for 850 football pitches in England and further funding to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, claims the “defining mission” of his government is to “level up” the country so people have “access to the same opportunities” regardless of where in the UK they live.
He said: “From day one, the defining mission of this government has been to level up this country, to break the link between geography and destiny so that no matter where you live you have access to the same opportunities.”
“It is a vision for the future that will see public spending on R&D increased in every part of the country, transport connectivity improving, faster broadband in every community, life expectancies rising, violent crime falling, schools improving and private sector investment being unleashed.”
Gove added: “We will only succeed if all layers of government – UK, devolved, and local – work together; we have seen through the success of the vaccine roll-out what we can achieve when we pull together.”
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack also urged Holyrood ministers to work with the UK Government towards “improving lives across Scotland”.
He stated: “Initiatives such as the Glasgow City region becoming an innovation accelerator, unlocking access to a share of £100m of new funding, will help Scotland continue its vital role in keeping the UK at the forefront of global science and research.
“Thanks to locally led partnerships working closely with the UK Government, the region will become a major innovation cluster delivering high end jobs.”