It was just over five years ago that the Scottish and UK Governments signed the £1billion Glasgow City Deal. The timing, just weeks ahead of the 2014 Independence Referendum, certainly raised some eyebrows. And it’s no secret that it took time to start delivering.

The journey to ‘shovel-ready’ projects meant getting governance structures right and making sure the relationships right between all eight councils were on a good footing. It also involved having a fresh look at the proposed projects, many of which had major question marks over their ability to deliver their stated benefits. Claims of economic growth were not good enough in themselves. They have had to be able to prove they can create growth in which all our citizens can share.

Now we have one of the largest and most advanced City Deals within the UK and it’s clear it has become one of the most exciting developments in local government in recent years.

This week the Glasgow City Region Cabinet reached a significant milestone, the signing off on our first ‘Gateway Review’, its five-year MOT.

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Since the Deal was agreed, the value of City Deal contracts won by local businesses across the region has been have £33 million. That’s well over 150 contracts. And with over £300 million of funding agreed so far for spend on infrastructure works, further opportunities for businesses are in the pipeline.

More than 20 major and transformative infrastructure projects are either underway or due to commence; we have worked with more than 20,000 unemployed citizens and already supported thousands into work. The record-breaking investment by Barclay’s is rapidly taking shape on the banks of the Clyde. With a pledge to create 2500 new jobs, some 400 of which are ring-fenced for people struggling to enter he labour market, the Barclays deal is the most significant inward investment ever made in Glasgow and is a beacon for what the City Deal has been able to achieve.

And we have much to look forward to in the next year, with a number of further developments expected across major infrastructure projects.

In the next few months we will see further progress in Europe’s first ever Smart Canal, an innovative £17 million project. New technology combined with a 250 year old heritage, it will enable massive regeneration in the north of the city in areas previously unfit for development. The project is set to free up 110 hectares, paving the way for more than 3,000 new homes. This will be transformational for a part of our city neglected for far too long. Generations have grown up in the north of the city surrounded by derelict sites, with poor amenities and disconnected from the life of the city.

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Sighthill has typified this neglect, cut off from the heart of the city by the M8. But its City Deal-funded regeneration has become our flagship project across the region, delivering a new neighbourhood within a short walking or cycling distance from the city centre. This one of the most significant regeneration projects in Europe and will see hundreds of new homes and the area’s new park - a real visitor destination - completed by next summer.

Of course this will be connected with the city centre by an iconic bridge over the M8 motorway, with the contract set to be awarded in the coming months.

And just yesterday, Glasgow agreed to a new partnership with East Dunbartonshire and SPT to invest £30m improving bus corridors and travel times in the north of the city.

There are so many other projects that have completed or are underway, including the Sauchiehall Street Avenue, the Tontine in the Merchant City which supports new SME start-ups and seen more than 369 new jobs generated, and the Glasgow University Imaging Centre of Excellence, which is translating science into economic and patient benefit.

The eight councils can be rightly proud of what we have collectively achieved. Crucially, our partnership government and the private sector continues to strengthen. Those relationships can take the City Deal to the next level and allow the Glasgow City Region to deliver on its economic potential for the benefit of all our citizens and for Scotland.