John McLellan: This is what’s holding Edinburgh back

Funding for infrastructure should be a priority. Picture: John Devlin
Funding for infrastructure should be a priority. Picture: John Devlin
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At a city economy workshop organised by the council last week, a consensus began to emerge among business leaders that the inability to deliver new infrastructure cheaply and quickly was holding back the city’s development. Yet the same conversations were taking place ten years ago. In fact they probably took place 60 years ago when the old tram lines were ripped up.

But more than one speaker said that financing infrastructure should be the immediate priority, and a representative from Napier University pointed to the big pension funds with millions to invest but who are not looking for a hefty immediate return.

Such schemes are being developed but I’m told the Scottish Government is lukewarm about providing guarantees for the loans, although it’s hard to see why if it means significant projects can be delivered without public money actually being handed over.