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Scottish govt plans infrastructure boost despite capital cuts

The Scottish government is aiming to advance procurement of major infrastructure projects and will announce a new wave of tax increment financed pilot projects in the coming weeks.

Under its spending review and draft budget for 2012-13, the government has outlined projects it intends to bring forward despite cuts to its capital spend under the UK government spending review.

The document states the government’s aim to invest in the completion of the central Scotland motorway network and bring forward the procurement of the M8 Baillieston to Newhouse motorway upgrade, together with improvements to the M74 Raith Interchange and the M8 associated improvements.

It also plans to unveil a new series of TIF-funded pilot projects and will use Network Rail’s regulatory asset base to fund new rail projects including the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvements Programme.

However the government will put small road improvement schemes on the back burner as well as deferring work to expand Traffic Scotland infrastructure.

The draft budget also highlights the Scottish Futures Trust work in adding an additional £2.5bn of revenue through its Non Profit Distributing model of financing.

Scottish finance secretary John Swinney said: “We have argued consistently that the UK government is cutting spending too far and too fast, and that its actions run the risk of damaging the fragile recovery in both Scotland and the UK.

“While we will continue to press the UK government to change course, under our current constitutional arrangements, we must work within the spending limits we have been given and deliver a balanced budget.”

Major projects to be progressed through the NPD model worth £2.5bn include improvements to the M8, the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route and Balmedie project and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.

The government will also:

Launch a second round of the National Housing Trust (NHT) initiative, which leverages in private sector funding and council borrowing to support affordable housing.

Ensure Scottish Water continues to improve efficiency in delivering its £2.5 billion capital programme

Develop a new cities strategy that will support cities and their regions in attracting additional investment into priority projects;

Usie the Scottish Futures Trust to enhance value for money from capital investment, support the development of innovative financing methods and facilitate collaborative procurement and asset management across the public sector.

Switch over £200 million a year of our resource budget to fund additional capital investment.

Continue to progress the A82 Crianlarich Bypass, A82 Pulpit Rock Improvement and A96 Inveramsay Bridge.

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