SNP-run councils have welcomed multi-million cash boosts under Boris Johnson's levelling up agenda, despite the funding bypassing Holyrood and being designed to boost the Union.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced around £170m will be handed to local authorities in Scotland from the programme with projects in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Falkirk and Paisley among those benefitting.

“We are, always will be, one family, one United Kingdom,” Sunak told MPs as he delivered his budget and unveiled the levelling-up cash.

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak 'proud' to bypass Scottish Parliament in levelling-up scheme

But the funding route has been controversial, with the Scottish Government accusing the Treasury of undermining devolution by siphoning funds to councils rather than delivering them through the Scottish Parliament. 

The National:

£13m has been awarded to Glasgow city council by the Chancellor to revamp Pollok Park Stables and Sawmill. 

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of SNP run Glasgow City Council, welcomed £13m from the PM's levelling up scheme for a project to revamp Pollok Stables and Sawmill in the southside.

"The confirmation of funding for the Pollok Country Park Stables and Sawmill project will not only restore the A Listed Stables and Old Courtyard, but enhances the unique and outstanding cultural and heritage attraction on offer at the park. 

"This project will deliver economic and social gains to Glasgow, and is one that is absolutely worthy of this support.  More bids for identified projects in the city will be made at the next calls for funding bids.”

Work on the Pollok Country Park Stables and Sawmill project will begin in early 2022, with completion in 2024.

The restoration and redevelopment of the A Listed buildings will see the creation of a net-zero carbon “living” heritage centre and community and visitor attraction around the Clydesdale horses, stabled in the park and the development of traditional power generation into modern renewable technologies.

Aikten added that Glasgow city council would be identifying further projects to get funding from the UK scheme.

Adam McVey, the leader of Edinburgh City Council, did not mention the controversy in his response to the funding announcement and said he was delighted to receive £16.5m to help revamp one of the capital's main waterfronts areas and restore the iconic gasholder tower in Granton. 

"We are pleased to see this funding to help support our vision for a new Granton waterfront," he said.

"Our plans will enhance the city’s coastline and deliver sustainment development with culture, green space and local education and employment at its heart. 

READ MORE: SNP warn Rishi Sunak’s Budget ‘for the Union’ will undermine devolution

"Restoring the gas holder for public use will undoubtedly help attract future investment to regenerate the area and the council is committed to continue to work with both the UK and Scottish Governments as well and other key partners in delivering the maximum benefit for our communities."

The funding for the Edinburgh project will help the council begin the first phase of the £1.3bn regeneration scheme for Granton.

City chiefs say the restoration of the B-listed Granton gas holder will bring the site back into public use will help "deliver one of the most sustainable new coastal towns in Scotland". 

The National:

The last surviving gasholder from the Granton Gasworks in Edinburgh. It will be restored under cash given to Edinburgh city council under the levelling up scheme desinged to boost the Union. Photo credit should read: Jane Barlow/PA Wire.

They say that over the next 15 years, 3500 net-zero carbon homes, a primary school, health centre, commercial and cultural spaces, sustainable transport provision and a new coastal park are all planned. 

The SNP leader of Paisley-based Renfrewshire Council - which will receive the largest slice of funding in Scotland £38m and the third biggest grant in the UK - took to social media last night to welcome the cash.

Councillor Iain Nicolson also did not mention the controversy over the funding bypassing Holyrood.

He tweeted: "Delighted to receive official letter tonight confirming Levelling Up Fund award of the full £38 million. This will transform Paisley Harbour, Abercorn Street with improved connections to Glasgow Airport and our Advance Manufacturing site which is currently under construction."

The transport project will improve links between Paisley town centre and Scotland’s manufacturing innovation district AMIDS. It will also include a 1.7km "gateway route" along the White Cart river.

The money will provide around 90% of the funding for the project to develop a network of road, cycling and walking links from the town centre train station and bus interchange to Glasgow Airport, AMIDS and onto Inchinnan.

Council chiefs said it will also strengthen the links to the significant investment well underway in Paisley town centre cultural venues, which includes a £42m transformation of Paisley Museum and the £22m refurbishment of the town’s A-listed Town Hall, as well as a new learning and cultural hub on the High Street.

SNP Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, Leader of Falkirk Council, welcomed the £20m funding boost for roads in her area.

“This announcement significantly supports the new Westfield roundabout infrastructure upgrade, incorporating a new iconic bridge and significant roads infrastructure investment" she said.

"It delivers a new and exciting green travel corridor for pedestrians, cyclists, our communities and visitors, ensuring vehicle traffic will flow more smoothly and people are safer when crossing this important gateway junction for our area."

She added that the Westfield area is a hub with connections to the A9 and the motorway network as well as to nearby tourist attractions such as the Helix and Kelpies, the new Forth Valley college campus and the new Falkirk Gateway mixed use development site.

Asked about bypassing Holyrood, she said the £20m "is very welcome and will support our economic recovery" pointing to Falkirk as a place operating inside the Scottish and UK economies.

She added: "The Council recognises that funding and resource allocation is a matter for both governments and is working with each body to attract investment to our area. 

"We recognise that the forthcoming arrangements for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (the replacement for EU Structural Funds) remain to be finalised.

"Yesterday’s funding announcement recognises the important profile of the Falkirk area within the Scottish and UK economies and we are content to work with both tiers of government to ensure that we continue to benefit from such funds." 

Glasgow city council, which is also SNP led, has been approached for comment. The authority received £13m for a project at Pollok Stables and Sawmill in the southside.