Comment: City Deal is an investment in Scotland

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THE housing market is seriously on the move again in the Capital.

Sales of homes have hit their highest level since before the economic crash as growing numbers of buyers find the confidence and the finance to step on to or up the property. And that is just the latest positive sign for the city’s economy with well over £1 billion of investment committed to the city in major development projects like that at the St James Quarter and the old Donaldson’s School.

That is all very encouraging for the city’s economy – and good news for Scotland as a whole – for when Edinburgh thrives, Scotland does too.

A buoyant Capital is good for all Scots, whether they live in Morningside or Monifieth, Craigmillar or Coll. A thriving economy creates jobs locally, but when Edinburgh rises it does so much more.

Edinburgh is the gateway to Scotland, a showcase for the rest of the country. If visitors are not impressed by the Capital, they are unlikely to venture further afield. And the wealth created in the Capital is spread across the country – in the most direct way. More than £1 billion raised in business rates over the last decade has been spent elsewhere in Scotland.

That is part and parcel of Edinburgh’s role as Scotland’s capital city. But it has to be a two-way street. The city is crying out for major investment. Our crumbling roads are a national disgrace, our schools are in desperate need of repair, we have a desperate shortage of affordable housing, many of our sports facilities would embarrass a provincial town – even our fountains are running dry. Edinburgh needs to have decent infrastructure.

The Capital does not face the same level of social deprivation as, say, Glasgow, but it does have its own challenges. If it cannot meet them, the whole country loses out. A special funding deal for Edinburgh would not just boost the city, it would be an investment in Scotland as a whole.