Our Ambitions for UKREiiF and Beyond

4th May 2023


Cllr AitkenCllr Susan Aitken, Leader, Glasgow City Council

Glasgow is a city of ambition and transformation, one which continues to overcome the challenges of its past while embracing its future.

The centre of one of the UK’s most diverse and competitive regional economies and the metropolitan powerhouse of Scotland, Glasgow is now internationally recognised as city of creativity, innovation and opportunity.

Real and emerging strengths across space, advanced manufacturing, precision medicine, fintech and much else are building on our long-standing global reputation for learning, culture and the arts, events and hospitality.

Regional GVA per head and FDI are amongst the highest in Britain, contributing to our guiding mission to have the UK’s most resilient and innovative economy by 2030

That spirit of innovation extends to our building and sustaining those partnerships vital to Glasgow’s success as a city to live, work and invest.

As City Leader, I have a responsibility to ensure Glasgow continues to seek those opportunities which have transformed our city and help translate them into tangible outcome which benefit our economy, our businesses, our environment and our people.

Accelerating structural shifts, the long road of pandemic recovery and the increasing urgency of the climate agenda impact upon Glasgow, as they do cities across our planet. And they will shape our approaches to development, construction, infrastructure. financing and investment for many years to come.

The opportunity at UKREiiF for Team Glasgow to discuss our plans with investors and developers and to help build the relationships necessary for the transitions ahead has rarely had more urgency.

And in sharing our portfolio of investment opportunities from across the metropolitan region we’ll be showcasing a city building on its strengths and assets to forge ahead and deliver.

Our status as host city of COP26, for example, did more than generate unprecedented international profile for Glasgow. It firmly established Glasgow’s recognition amongst its peers as a globally-leading city on climate action, one moving ever-closer to understanding how to deliver investment-ready propositions of the scale and quality needed to deliver Net Zero and which institutional investors are seeking.

At UKREiiF we will be keen to discuss our Greenprint for Investment, those long-term net zero transition projects across housing, transport, heating and infrastructure which Glasgow, and indeed cities across the world, require to transition in the years ahead.

The fundamental structural shifts affecting retail coupled with the impact of the global pandemic on city centre economies have hastened the pace of discussions around urban transition.

Glasgow can demonstrate long-term confidence of major investors in the resilience of – and vision for - our city centre. But also, clear action plans responding to challenge and change and which present significant opportunities in one of the most distinctive and vibrant urban cores in these islands.

And we look forward to sharing our plans how we’re already adapting our assets to suit the needs of emerging sectors.

The City’s partnership with Glasgow’s world-leading learning institutions and those driving the emerging high-value sectors changing our economy have already delivered dedicated innovation districts.

Whether its across R&D spin-outs, start-ups and scale-ups or partnerships with globally-renowned broadcasters we’ll show how we’re readying Glasgow for new industries and new purposes.

At the inaugural UKREiif, our small Glasgow contingent were hugely impressed by the scale of the event, the quality of the programme and the positive conversations with investors and developers. 

This time, a team led by myself and with the expertise across inward investment, property, planning, development, and digital, will showcasing Glasgow, its ambition and the opportunities for investment and transformation.

UKREiiF 2023 promises to be a milestone in our recovery and our shared progress towards more prosperous, sustainable, resilient and inclusive cities. We look forward to seeing you there.