The emergence and evolution of city deals in Scotland

Waite, David and Maclennan, Duncan and Roy, Graeme and McNulty, Des (2018) The emergence and evolution of city deals in Scotland. Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary, 42 (4). pp. 75-90. ISSN 2046-5378

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There is a resurgent policy emphasis on the role of city-regions as drivers of economic growth. Officials and leaders in such metropolitan areas, however, are confronted with challenges relating to administrative fragmentation, achieving alignment with national policy objectives, and demonstrating the capabilities to plan, finance and deliver effective policy interventions and investments. As a response to these challenges, policymakers are fashioning new governance arrangements, attached to experimental policy mechanisms, to develop urban policy. Of note, City Deals have recently emerged in the UK, and this paper charts their evolution across the UK, with a focus on the devolved administrations in particular. The paper ends with some reflections and questions about their roll out in Scotland.