Financial plan for Scotland’s International Environment Centre backed

Financial plan for Scotland’s International Environment Centre backed

Dr John Rogers

The full business case for a £52 million international environment centre has been given approval by the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Regional Deal joint committee.

The landmark project was presented to committee members on Tuesday, where it received unanimous support from all parties.

The project will create an innovation community in Forth Valley that will drive the creation of a net zero regional economy and deliver transformational change in sustainable business practice.

Committee co-chair, Stirling Council leader, Cllr Scott Farmer, said: “This represents a major milestone in our journey to delivering this deal for the people of this region. I want to thank everyone involved in getting us to this stage and I’m sure the news will be welcomed by those who have been following the progress of the City Region Deal closely.”

The Stirling & Clackmannanshire City Region Deal is a £90.2million investment from the UK Government and Scottish Government in innovation and infrastructure that will drive inclusive economic growth throughout the city region. Alongside this joint Government investment, regional partners, including Stirling Council, Clackmannanshire Council and The University of Stirling will invest up to £123.8 million, resulting in a Deal worth in excess of £214 million.

Scotland’s International Environment Centre is one of the Deal’s 14 core projects and is led by the University of Stirling in partnership with Clackmannanshire Council and Forth Valley College.

The SIEC will receive up to £22m from the Scottish and UK governments through the Deal over phase one and two, and is expected to leverage a further £30m, creating a total project value of £52m.

Phase one will draw down £9.7m of government funding and £300,000 from Clackmannanshire Council.

Dr John Rogers, Executive Director of Research and Innovation Services at the University of Stirling, said: “Scotland’s International Environment Centre will play a major role in leading the response to the global climate emergency. Founded on outstanding environmental science at the University of Stirling, it will deliver high value jobs and opportunities in our communities while protecting and enhancing the value of our natural resources.”

Clackmannanshire Council Leader, Cllr Ellen Forson, said: “Ahead of the UN Climate Change conference - COP26 - in Glasgow at the end of October, it’s great to see the business case has been approved for Scotland’s International Environment Centre (SIEC) which will be based in Alloa. SIEC will play a crucial role in delivering the new technologies we will need to meet our net zero ambitions. I look forward to moving on to the next stage which will start to benefit our local Region and economy.”

Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy, Kate Forbes, said: “I’m pleased to see this major step forward for the City Region Deal and especially to see Scotland’s International Environment Centre project move forward, given its focus on supporting the development and adoption of low carbon technologies.”

UK Government minister for Scotland Iain Stewart added: “This exciting project will bring world-leading innovation and climate action to the heart of Scotland, with its timely approval coming just weeks before the UK hosts the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.

“Not only will this accelerate our journey to Net-Zero through next-generation technology and research, but it will also bring new jobs and skills to local communities.

“The UK Government is investing more than £1.5 billion into region deals across Scotland, helping to build back better after the pandemic.”

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