Matheson's vision and leadership was key

DESPITE our place as Scotland's biggest city and one of the key drivers of the UK economy, it often feels as if Glasgow doesn't get its fair share of funding and investment.

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Not this month.

The joint announcement by the UK Government and Glasgow City Council of a City Deal is major news and a credit to all those who have supported the bid over many months.

It will see huge amounts of money flow into the city, targeted directly at jobs and infrastructure projects to benefit Glasgow for generations to come.

The Glasgow City Deal will create a lasting legacy. The Prime Minister's commitment to invest £500million - followed by the Scottish Government's pledge to match that figure - added to local authority funding of around £130m means the city and surrounding area is set to benefit to the tune of more than £1 billion over the next 20 years.

City Deals are designed to give large cities across the United Kingdom the power and freedom to make big decisions on their future priorities, and it is important that the final decisions on how this money is spent are taken locally.

After all, those in Glasgow are best placed to know just what projects and improvements would bring the greatest benefits to our city.

So the announcement of this deal is a real vote of confidence in Glasgow, and its ability to contribute to wider economic growth.

A LOT of work has gone into making this agreement possible and credit should go to so many people for getting us to this point.

It's not often that politicians will praise others of different political stripes, but Gordon Matheson's vision and leadership was absolutely key to making this happen.

He wants good things for Glasgow and will work with all comers if it's in the city's interests.

I know he fought extremely hard to make sure this happened.

In terms of how the money will be used, an infrastructure investment fund will be created to support large projects - likely to include the airport rail link, investment in roads and rail services and the development of potential employment sites. All in all, this deal is expected to create 28,000 jobs over the next 25 years.

Part of the agreement includes a commitment to reduce unemployment and encourage people in low-paid jobs into higher-paid positions.

The benefits to the lives of real people in and around Glasgow are incalculable.

This deal lays the foundation for long- term economic growth in the area.

It will empower our city to create the conditions where jobs, growth and opportunities are secured for future generations and will make a real difference to the families of thousands of people in the coming years.

Local government

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