City Deal delivers employment and skills for thousands

Five years after it was signed by the UK and Scottish governments, the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal has helped 15,000 people secure employment and improved the skills and knowledge of over 103,000 of the region’s citizens.

Edinburgh city from Calton hill looking up princes st

The Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal is a £1.5 billion, 15-year programme aimed at driving productivity and reducing inequalities.

Data-driven innovation

The University’s data-driven innovation initiative is a key part of the City Region Deal.

The initiative aims to improve citizens’ digital skills through working with schools, further and higher education, employers, and training providers.

It aims to train 100,000 people in data skills over the next decade, from computer science specialists to traditional jobs that will increasingly use data.

The National Robotarium, the largest and most advanced applied research facility for robotics and artificial intelligence in the UK, which opened in September 2022, is a key part of the City Region Deal.

Based at Heriot-Watt University’s Riccarton campus, University of Edinburgh researchers work in partnership on the practical application of robotics and autonomous systems.

Report progress

A number of milestones have been captured in the City Deal’s annual report. These include investment in transport, housing, culture and skills and employability.

Significant progress has been made on delivering 3,500 new homes in Winchburgh. Over 540 mid-market rental homes have been delivered by Edinburgh Living, and nine new industrial units have opened in Fife, with more on the way in the Scottish Borders.

A total of £3 million has been secured to improve regional bus services, and over 700 small to medium-sized businesses have been supported.

Some of the Deal’s impacts are captured in a video series, highlighting the people and organisations behind the projects. Featured projects include data skills in primary schools, circular economy and low carbon in the Fife Innovation Zone, and a construction academy for members of the region's Ukrainian community.

Read the report.

As a university we have a commitment to not only serve our students and staff, but to work in collaboration with regional partners to better serve the wider local community and make sure that people in the region can build skills to flourish in the data-driven economy.

We are proud to be part of the City Region Deal and of all that it has achieved so far. We are working not just in our universities, but also with schools, colleges and businesses across the region so people have the opportunity to develop data skills. We know that data-driven innovation will bring economic growth and we want that growth to be inclusive and open to all.

Professor Sir Peter MathiesonPrincipal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh


City Region Deal

Data-Driven Innovation

The National Robotarium