Has Clydesdale, positioned between the Central Belt of Scotland and the Borders, found itself trapped in a government funding ‘no man’s land’?
With Glasgow to the west getting it’s £1.1 billion City Deal and the £345m Borderlands Deal agreed for towns to the south, some local politicians are worried Clydesdale might miss out.
Labour’s Lanark-based regional MSP Claudia Beamish said this week that she had received assurances this area would not be forgotten as Holyrood puts in place the legislation that would give the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway its own enterprise agency to put the Borderlands Deal into action.
She said:“I was pleased to see reassurances that the new South of Scotland Agency would be flexible working along its boundaries.
“The Scottish Government recently commented that South Lanarkshire was closely connected to the Glasgow City Deal. Many people in Clydesdale may find the connection to Glasgow hard to visualise with poor public transport and lack of connectivity.
“This is why more must be done through Scottish Enterprise.
“Small and medium and co-operative business models have to be supported going forward. Not only start-ups but also expanding businesses. Better transport links and education opportunities must be considered if young people are going to choose to stay in their community.
“I call on the Scottish Government to do more to support communities outside the new Agency and consider the present remit Scottish Enterprise currently has.”
Some fear that Clydesdale’s voice will be lost in its current situation of having few single, all-area representatives; the area does have one directly-elected MSP but also several ‘regional’ Holyrood members. It is currently represented at Westminster by three MPs.