Chancellor announces £23.9m business, life science and arts funding for Glasgow

Glasgow School of Art, phase 1 The UK government money will help to fund phase two of the Glasgow School of Art campus development

UK Chancellor George Osborne has announced nearly £24m in new funding for Glasgow's life sciences, business and arts sectors.

Just over £17m will go into health technology; the Glasgow School of Art is to receive £5m and there will be £1.7m for a new business centre.

Mr Osborne gave details about the funding at a Commonwealth Games conference at Glasgow University.

Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson welcomed the announcement.

Ahead of the minister's speech, he said: "The City Deal will transform the Glasgow City region.

"This will mean not only better health for Glaswegians but, crucially, more sustainable, high-value jobs."

Innovation facilities

Mr Osborne told the gathering of more 200 conference delegates that there would be;

  • A £16m UK government contribution to a new £64m Stratified Medicine Imaging Centre of Excellence that will provide life science research and innovation facilities at the New South Glasgow Hospitals Campus.
  • A £5m contribution to support the Glasgow School of Arts new graduate and research centre.
  • A £1.2m UK government contribution to a £4m MediCity Scotland facility that will bring together academics, entrepreneurs, clinicians and business support services to bring new healthcare services and medical technology to the market;
  • £1.7m in UK government funding for a new £4m Centre for Business Incubation, Development and Recovery in Tontine House in Glasgow's Merchant City.

The remaining funding for the projects will be provided by local partners in Glasgow, including the Scottish government, Scottish Funding Council, Glasgow City Council, the University of Glasgow and the University of Strathclyde.

Mr Matteson said: "The Imaging Centre of Excellence will put Glasgow at the forefront of cutting edge medical research.

"It is the best example of partnership between local and central government."

Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney Finance Secretary John Swinney said the funding builds on Scottish government investment
Chancellor George Osborne Chancellor George Osborne addressed more than 200 business leaders at the conference

Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney said: "This funding builds not only on the £1bn of Scottish government investment in the new Southern General Hospital without which these new life sciences investments would not be possible, but also on the excellent reputation of Scotland's universities which make Scotland the best educated country in the EU.

"The Scottish government has committed to match in full the funding announced last month for Glasgow's City deal, a proposal which we understand consists of just £15m a year for the first five years, with future years' funding contingent on a review at the end of the first five-year period.

"As well as matching the UK government funding now, we will also guarantee this funding to Glasgow when Scotland becomes independent."

Mr Swinney said the Scottish government had recently invested £1.5bn in Glasgow and provided capital funding of £1.1bn to Glasgow City Council since 2008.

He added: "However, unlike the UK government, we will ensure that all of Scotland's cities can benefit as well - which is the intention of our recently announced Growth Accelerator funding model."

Glasgow 2014 sign The business event at Glasgow University comes on the eve of the start of the Commonwealth Games
Lab scene The package of funding will benefit Scotland's life sciences sector

The two-day conference, jointly organised by the Scottish and UK governments and Scottish Enterprise, being held on the eve of the Commonwealth Games, is also being attended by Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and Bank of England governor Mark Carney.

It is being chaired by BBC broadcaster John Humphrys and Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney is among the speakers.

Mr Osborne's announcement is part of the Glasgow and Clyde Valley City Deal, announced last year, which gives the city greater responsibility to stimulate and support economic growth in the area and to which the Scottish and UK governments will each invest £500m.

Of the Stratified Medicine Imaging Centre of Excellence, Mr Osborne said: "This is a hugely exciting new technology that has the potential to improve radically treatments for chronic diseases including cancer, diabetes and dementia - with treatments tailored to the patient's DNA.

"It's a major investment in Glasgow's growing life sciences industry - which will keep them at the cutting edge in this global race. "

Of the MediCity Scotland campus on the outskirts of Glasgow, he said: "We're backing them today with this new space where academics, entrepreneurs and clinicians will come together to develop new technologies and new businesses."

Trade links

Regarding the Glasgow Art School funding Mr Osborne said: "The people of Glasgow and many people far beyond were horrified when a few weeks ago fire ripped through the Art School, gutting its priceless library.

"The UK government has already made a £5m contribution to the Mackintosh Appeal to help ensure that the building is restored to its former glory.

"And we are today making an additional £5m contribution to support the School's new Graduate and Research Centre."

Mr Swinney said his government welcomed all contributions towards restoring the art school. He added that the Holyrood administration had pledged up to £5m to the Mackintosh appeal.

Meanwhile, the "new business incubator in the heart of Glasgow's historic Merchant City will "house up to 125 businesses over the first five years - providing them with the very best facilities and mentoring so they can thrive".

The conference in Glasgow is aimed at forging trade links across the Commonwealth.

The event, which will be streamed live on the Scottish Enterprise website, is focusing on issues and opportunities common to all countries, such as:

  • employment and skills
  • infrastructure development
  • improving financial services for business
  • the development of smart cities of the future

Scottish exports to Commonwealth countries outside the UK are worth about £2bn a year and organisers of the conference hope laying the groundwork for more long-term commercial partnerships can be a key legacy of the Glasgow 2014 Games.

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