Falkirk Growth Deal drives forward Forth Valley transition to net zero

Dec 21, 2021

The new Falkirk Growth Deal, signed in December 2021, will play a key role in helping the Falkirk and Grangemouth area reduce emissions and decarbonise. In particular, the agreement will help Grangemouth’s petrochemical complex, which currently produces 10% of Scotland’s carbon emissions, transition to net zero.

The Growth Deal unlocks a major, long-term programme of investment by both UK and Scottish Governments and delivered in partnership with Falkirk Council. Under the deal, eleven projects will access a total of £80m investment from the UK and Scottish governments, £45m from Falkirk Council and £5.8m from Scottish Canals to create an investment zone for Falkirk and Grangemouth.

Included in the key aims of the deal is a focus on transforming Grangemouth’s chemicals and related manufacturing industries into an internationally competitive low carbon proposition. The Deal also supports opportunities to deliver on the Scottish Government aim of a ‘just transition’ to net zero.

The net zero focussed projects that will benefit from additional investment through the Falkirk Growth Deal include:

  • £10 million for a Carbon Dioxide Utilisation Centre that will capture CO2 and become a UK centre of excellence in carbon capture and utilisation.
  • £10 million for a Bioeconomy Accelerator Pilot Plant that will test and develop alternative feedstocks so that the chemical industry can move away from fossil fuels to the use of renewable resources and waste streams instead.
  • £4 million for an innovation skills transition centre focused on new, low carbon technologies.
  • £21 million for a sustainable transport hub and a ‘green corridor’ that will connect local communities.
  • £4 million for Scotland’s Canal Centre that will bring a derelict site into use, become the home of the relocated Scottish Canal’s HQ and a focal point for investigating decarbonising solutions.

The Scottish government is matching the UK Treasury’s £40m investment as well as adding £10m for local green projects.

Boosting sustainable economic growth and innovation

Overall, the deal will help Falkirk Council realise its ambitions for sustainable and inclusive economic recovery and growth while contributing to Scottish and UK Government net zero targets.

Speaking about the agreement and what it means for the local area and the Scottish and UK economies as a whole, UK Government Minister Iain Stewart said: “The deal will create and protect jobs in the area through innovative projects such as supporting Grangemouth petrochemical complex’s transition away from fossil fuels with the creation of a centre of excellence in carbon capture as we move towards net zero. Skills and training will get a boost too with the creation of sites for sustainable manufacturing that will encourage further investment.”

Scottish Government Economy Secretary Kate Forbes said: “The Scottish Government’s £40 million investment in the Falkirk Growth Deal and our £10 million additional investment will enable inclusive and sustainable economic growth for the area, creating a fairer and greener economy.”

Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, Leader of Falkirk Council said: “This investment by the UK and Scottish Governments will bring a massive economic boost to the local area and has the potential to create up to 2000 jobs and attract £1bn of private sector investment.”

Wider economic benefits 

The agreement will also bring benefit to businesses already based in the local area and is backed by many of the industry supporters of Forth Valley for Net Zero.

Charles Hammond OBE, Chief Executive of Forth Ports, attended the virtual signing of the Deal and said: “Falkirk and Grangemouth are at the heart of Scotland’s industrial and logistics sectors and this funding will cement the plans for the Falkirk and Grangemouth Investment Zone.  There are huge opportunities for industry and the Council to work together to deliver economic growth whilst addressing the need to reduce the areas carbon footprint, improve skills and ensure that the local area fully benefits from this funding and economic growth.”

Catherine Topley, Chief Executive Officer at Scottish Canals, said: “The Falkirk Growth Deal will support the relocation of Scottish Canals headquarters to Lock 16 in Falkirk. Our new low-carbon canal centre of excellence will not only serve as our primary base of operations, but it will also open up new prospects for Falkirk by providing shared space for the community.”

For more information, visit the Falkirk Council website.

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