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December 14, 2011

A strategy fit for purpose?

The Scottish Government’s new Regeneration Strategy – Achieving a Sustainable Future – was launched this week. Previous regeneration strategies have all occurred at a time of increasing levels of public spending and rising land values.  But these conditions no longer exist and the Cabinet Secretary emphasised that our collective approach to regeneration must change as well. Above all, he said, regeneration must be led by communities themselves. Just not sure whether this new Strategy will deliver that aspiration



First national Strategy to regenerate Scotland¹s most disadvantaged areas and strengthen local communities.

Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment today set out the Scottish Government¹s blueprint for tackling Scotland¹s areas of deprivation and poverty.

Scotland¹s Regeneration Strategy sets out a £175 million programme of investment to support the country¹s most disadvantaged communities, transforming the prospects of the people who live there.

Part of the investment includes a £50 million SPRUCE Fund created with the European Commission and the European Investment Bank, through Scotland¹s JESSICA (Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas) Fund, which is now open for business.

Speaking at the launch in Glasgow, Mr Neil said: The ground breaking plans published today address the economic, physical and social needs of communities in Scotland which face the massive challenges of poverty and deprivation.

Investment of £175 million is just one aspect of the programme. Across the Scottish Government we are also investing heavily through roads, housing, education and training, to improve the standard of living and opportunities for people living in Scotland as demonstrated by the Infrastructure Investment Plan last week.

The Regeneration Strategy will build on previous successes and also looks at new projects and ways of working together to enhance and support our most disadvantaged communities.  This is an ambitious programme, which seeks to transform the prospects of whole communities.

It is not something we can achieve alone, and we will require a great deal of partnership working and cooperation to fully realise the economic potential of Scotland¹s communities. Importantly, we will put the communities themselves at the centre of this process. The people affected by this strategy will be the people who put it into action.

The new £50 million SPRUCE fund at the centre of our plan is an excellent example of where we are innovating to deliver maximum benefits for the money spent.  The fund is all about sustainable investment as our communities continue to grow and thrive.

Through the Strategy we will champion community led regeneration, make the most of mainstream resources and work more effectively together to attract funding and other support to end poverty and bring prosperity to communities across Scotland.

Cameron Cook, Head of Origination for Amber Infrastructure Limited in Scotland, said: We are delighted to have been selected to work with the Scottish Government and the European Investment Bank on the creation and the implementation of The SPRUCE Fund for Scotland.  Amber Infrastructure Limited has unparalleled JESSICA fund management and public sector partnerships experience which will ensure that the long-term objectives for the fund are met. We are committed to investing in regeneration and energy efficiency projects that will provide long-term benefits to local communities throughout Scotland.

Martin Sime, Chief Executive, SCVO, said: “Scotland¹s third sector organisations are at the heart of regeneration activity and have the potential to do even more. We look forward to working with the Scottish Government to build stronger communities across Scotland.”

Steven Tolson, Head of RICS Scotland¹s Regeneration Forum said: We welcome the production of a regeneration strategy from Scottish Government as part of delivering a wider economic growth strategy. RICS believes that the key to successful urban regeneration is fuelling investment for our cities.

This requires strong leadership as well as partnership-working whereby public sector investment acts as the stimulus for private sector involvement.

RICS Scotland will continue to work closely with Scottish Government, bringing together the vital expertise of chartered surveyors who work in all aspects of regeneration.