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Levelling Up Partnerships rolled out in Scotland for first time  

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Dundee has been chosen as the first area in Scotland to benefit from a major tailored regeneration programme designed to support communities across the UK. 

The city will receive a £20 million Levelling Up Partnership from the UK Government designed to root out inequalities by attracting investment and increasing opportunities for local people, including by building a new Dundee and Angus College campus to boost skills. 

The investment will help tackle barriers to growth and turbo-charge regeneration, and the UK Government will be working hand-in-hand with local leaders to ensure this makes a major difference to people’s lives. This investment follows the £2.6 million for the V&A Dundee announced at Spring Budget.

Levelling Up Partnerships, first announced in the 2023 Spring Budget, are bespoke regeneration programmes targeted in areas that have too often been ignored. The government uses them to level up skills and opportunities, improve people’s quality of life, and address deep-rooted local challenges, giving these areas the best possible chance to thrive. The partnership for Dundee follows similar announcements for places in England including Hull and Mansfield.

In Scotland, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and the Scottish Government have collaborated to identify a methodology for which areas most need investment, and how best to address inequalities. The other areas in Scotland that have been selected for LUPs are the Scottish Borders, Argyll and Bute, and Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles). Scottish areas receiving LUPs have been chosen based on a number of metrics, with emphasis on the tough challenges posed by rural geography.

UK Government Levelling Up Minister Jacob Young, who visited Dundee on Thursday, said:

“It’s fantastic to announce our tailored regeneration programme has been rolled out in Scotland for the first time, beginning by transforming the lives of people right across Dundee. 

“This Levelling Up Partnership will allow us to tackle the historical issues faced by this city head-on, ensuring overlooked communities get what they need to fully reach their potential.”  

The funding for Dundee will help unlock a key development on the Waterfront to provide Grade A office space and lever in more investment, refurbish vacant and underused buildings in the city, build a legal education centre to boost opportunities, and provide support for people struggling with addiction. 

UK Government Minister for Scotland John Lamont said:

“Our Levelling Up Partnership with Dundee – backed by £20 million UK Government investment – is a real game changer for driving regeneration in the city and boosting opportunities.

“Collaborative working between the UK and Scottish Governments and local leaders means the lives of people living in, working in and visiting Dundee will be transformed with exciting initiatives such as new educational centres specialising in digital, green skills, health, social care and life sciences; improved access to housing; better transport connectivity; improved city streets; tackling anti-social behaviour and substance abuse and attracting business to the area.

“I look forward to seeing Dundee and the three other areas in Scotland that have each been allocated £20 million for Levelling Up Partnerships – the Scottish Borders, Argyll and Bute, and Na h-Eileanan Siar –  benefiting from the fruits of this funding.”

Dundee’s £20m Levelling Up Partnership includes:  

  • £5m backing for Dundee and Angus College, including £4.5m to build a new campus providing training opportunities in the digital, green skills, energy transition and construction sectors, and £500,000 for a new health and social care training facility 
  • £3m towards the creation of new Grade A office development on the Waterfront 
  • £2.5m for grassroots projects focused on enhancing opportunities for young people, improving safety and benefitting the community  
  • More than £2m to improve access to housing and boost regeneration in the city centre, including by refurbishing vacant properties, and reviewing the condition of the local private rented sector  
  • £2m to develop a specialist centre for protein science in the Life Sciences Innovation District 
  • £1.2m to develop a bespoke permanent home for the Dundee Museum of Transport 
  • £1.1m to establish a legal tech education centre and workspace 
  • £500,000 to complete a 26-mile active travel route around the city, connecting neighbourhoods on the outskirts with each other and the centre 

Dundee City Council leader Cllr John Alexander said:

“As a city, we’ve been working extensively in the background to attract and deliver investment, public and private, and to create jobs and economic growth.

“With Dundee already featuring in positive ratings, such as a top 20 UK destination for foreign direct investment (FDI), a top city break destination and attracting world-renowned opportunities such as the Eden project, the future is bright.

“We welcome the £20 million of investment through the Levelling Up Partnership, which will strengthen the efforts by all local partners to transform Dundee and the lives of people across our city. 

“Although Dundee’s challenges are well known, I believe that the opportunities that exist for the future significantly exceed these.  

“Organisations in Dundee are working together to create the conditions that will enable growth and prosperity in the years ahead. 

“There is a realisation that we cannot do this alone, and that is why we have been in discussions with both the UK and Scottish Governments for strategic investment to drive Dundee’s economy forward.” 

The LUP also includes £1m to help transform the Eastern Quarter by improving its streets, tackling anti-social behaviour and attracting new business; £1m to refurbish the fabric of historic buildings and bring vacant spaces in the city centre back into use; £500,000 to help tackle substance abuse; £200,000 to develop the next phase of the City Centre Strategic Plan, attracting investment to the city; and £120,000 for commercial training and networking to support high-potential businesses. 

This funding builds on almost £23m of wider UK Government levelling up investment in Dundee, which has received more than £14m from Round 2 of the Levelling Up Fund for a new green transport hub in the city centre featuring electric vehicle charging points, and £5.6m from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund for projects including improvements to the district centre of Perth Road and digital skills training opportunities.

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