Glasgow City Region Councils commit to ambitious shared vision for jobs, skills and inclusive growth
This month the eight councils of the Glasgow City Region launched an ambitious joint economic action plan, kick-starting an unprecedented long-term collaboration on jobs, skills and inclusive growth.
The move, a first in Scotland, will see City Region member authorities representing a population of 1.8 million pursue a common economic strategy between now and 2035. The councils pledged to work together to deliver a range of targets including 100,000 extra jobs; 6,500 new businesses, and big improvements in qualifications, training and skills. The partners also aim to bring thousands of hectares of vacant and derelict land into use and support the building of 110,000 new homes across the region.
The joint strategy and action plan was formally presented to an audience of key stakeholders across the private sector and other agencies at The Lighthouse in Glasgow, Scotland’s centre for design and architecture.
Chair of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet and Leader of Glasgow City Council, Cllr Frank McAveety said: “The Glasgow City Region is already the powerhouse of the Scottish economy – but, as council leaders, we are absolutely united in our determination to aim higher on jobs, skills and growth that benefits every community.
“This strategy and action plan represent a step-change in our approach. We are collaborating more closely than ever before and want to extend that strong, open partnership to the Scottish and UK Governments, the business community and other agencies, such as our colleges and universities.
“Only by working together will we build a more resilient and dynamic city region that delivers homes and jobs for a skilled workforce and prosperity for all its’ people.”
The eight authorities participating in the joint strategy are East Dunbartonshire Council; East Renfrewshire Council; Glasgow City Council; Inverclyde Council; North Lanarkshire Council; Renfrewshire Council; South Lanarkshire Council and West Dunbartonshire Council – existing partners in the Glasgow City Region City Deal, along with Scottish and UK governments. However, the ambition to create jobs and deliver inclusive economic growth goes beyond and builds on the collaboration of the City Deal.
The Economic Strategy action plan identifies eleven key priorities for the region’s economy along with 50 specific actions, both short and long-term, to deliver them.
The Strategy sets out a clear vision for where the partners want to position Glasgow City Region’s economy by 2035:
- An additional 100,000 jobs in the region;
- 110,000 new homes
- The opportunity of a job, training or apprenticeship for every young person that wants one;
- An increase of 50,000 in the working population;
- A halving of the current rate of adults without any qualifications;
- An increase in the long term survival rate for new businesses;
- An increase in the business base of 6,500 businesses; and
- 3,000 hectares of vacant and derelict land brought back into use.
Presentations on the day stressed success would only be achieved be further and stronger collaboration not only across the City Region council’s but together with the Scottish and UK governments, their agencies, the business community, and colleges and universities.
Stuart Patrick, the Chief Executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: “This new Regional Economic Strategy reflects the rising importance of city regions across the world. It matters to Scotland’s economy that Glasgow City Region is prosperous, growing and ambitious for the future.
“This document is strong evidence of the influence that Glasgow City Region City Deal is having on bringing the region’s local authorities together to tackle the issues that will help our economy succeed. We welcome many aspects of the action plan including the drive to increase productivity through investment in infrastructure, innovation and exporting, to tackle skills gaps and to continue the growth of the region’s population.
“Twenty years on from the most difficult phase of Glasgow’s economic history, the city region economy is robust and diverse with world class performance in advanced manufacturing, health and life sciences, digital technology and the creative industries. The action plan shows that Glasgow can look forward with confidence.”
Glasgow City Region, one of the largest regions in the UK, is Scotland’s Powerhouse. With a population of 1.8 million, it is home to 29% of Scotland’s businesses and base for 33% of the nation’s jobs. The City Deal contract with government for one of the largest UK City Deals and the first in Scotland was formally signed in August 2014. The partnership of neighbouring local authorities, with Glasgow as lead authority was the first ever City Deal to benefit from funding from both governments - with £500 million each provided from both the UK and Scottish Governments and local authorities borrowing a further £130million.
The City Region partnership is underpinned by strong and collaborative leadership. To deliver on the Economic Strategy eight portfolios themes have been established which will be led by each of the eight councils. Each portfolio will focus on delivering the actions and ambitions within their remit, and these will contribute towards the objectives set out in the Regional Economic Strategy. These portfolios are:
- Land Use and Sustainability - East Dunbartonshire Council
- Infrastructure and Assets - East Renfrewshire Council
- Inward Investment and Economic Growth - Glasgow City Council
- Tourism and Destination Marketing - Inverclyde Council
- Transport and Connectivity - North Lanarkshire Council
- Enterprise - Renfrewshire Council
- Skills and Employment - South Lanarkshire Council
- Housing and Equalities - West Dunbartonshire Council
More information is available from www.glasgowcityregion.co.uk and @GlasgowCityDeal.