New economic strategy launched for Glasgow City Region

8th Dec 2021

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A new economic strategy launched today for Glasgow City Region is set to have a profound impact on wider public sector policy, decision-making and spend over the next ten years for the local area of 1.8 million residents and 50,000 businesses.

The strategy sets the approach for how the Region will weather current and future key challenges, some of which are expected to completely disrupt our way of life – including the impact of Covid-19, the climate emergency, and unprecedented technological advances.

The approach is a first in that it has been developed and endorsed not only by the Region’s eight councils, but by government and wider public sector agencies including Scottish Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland – all of which will be instrumental in its delivery.

The strategy, developed by the Region’s Intelligence Hub, is the result of months of extensive research with input from partners across the councils, government agencies, local universities, the business and third sectors. It is underpinned by an in-depth analysis of the Region’s strengths and the current and future challenges faced – collectively and individually by the eight council areas of Glasgow, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire.

Chair of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet and Leader of Glasgow City Council, Susan Aitken said:

“Over the next ten years, the Glasgow City Region economy will be increasingly shaped by incredible technological advancement and the imperative to achieve net zero.  There will be challenges but also generational opportunities.

“Our new Regional Economic Strategy recognises where our strengths lie, how we compare to other major Regions and the key issues faced collectively by the Region and its eight partner councils.   

It brings clarity to our priorities and informs decision-making around issues of place, skills and health, and how to achieve net zero in a way which also delivers inclusivity, growth and prosperity.”

Three key Regional challenges are woven through the strategy:

  • The imperative to address the climate emergency: This includes managing the risk of rising sea levels, flooding, coastal erosion and heatwaves; supporting businesses to address climate action to improve their efficiency, productivity and competitiveness; and ensuring the transition to net zero is fair and equitable, particularly as the most deprived communities are likely to be impacted most from climate change. This will involve work to look at skills, both to support people to access the job opportunities arising from the net zero, climate resilient shift, and those working in industries where jobs may be affected.
  • The need to create a much more inclusive economy. With the Region home to some of the most deprived communities in Scotland, actions need to tackle the underlying drivers such as rising underemployment, economic activity due to ill health and low employment rates for specific groups.
  • The long-standing issue of low productivity has constrained the local economy. Actions will need to address growing the number of businesses per capital and business Research and Development spend, both of which need to increase.

Read the full press release here.

View the Regional Economic Strategy here.