Glasgow - Economic Powerhouse | Glasgow Chamber of Commerce

10 reasons why Glasgow is an Economic Powerhouse


Launched at State of the City Economy conference 2015 was our document outlining the 10 reasons why Glasgow is an Economic Powerhouse.

View the presentation here. 

1. Largest city region in Scotland

  • Glasgow is the largest city region in Scotland representing roughly one third of the country's population, GVA contribution, jobs and businesses
      (Glasgow accounts for almost half of the city regions jobs)
  • Outside of London, Glasgow is in the top 3 UK city regions
  • Over the five years to 2015, Glasgow achieved over 18% GVA growth
  • In 2015, Scotland secured the greatest number of FDI projects in over 20 years.
      (Glasgow secured 22 of these projects including JP Morgan’s expansion which was the largest FDI project in Scotland in terms of job creation)
  • Our airport is Scotland’s largest charter hub and principal long haul airport with 30 airlines serving over 120 destinations worldwide and transporting over 9m passengers each year

 2. Highly skilled workforce

  • Start from a position of strength as the most skilled large city in the UK outside of London
  • Glasgow City Region has a very high containment rate of almost 93% for those living and working within the region
  • Our Higher and Further Education sector which sustains this position is one of our crown jewel sectors
  • Over 190,000 students make Glasgow the 3rd largest centre for education in the UK and largest centre in Scotland
      (It is also a highly international sector attracting 15,000 foreign students)
  • Our institutions are continually investing to enhance their offer including

 3. Regional approach to economic development

  • Investors look beyond the fundamentals with a World Bank report highlighting the desire for good strategic city leadership and partnership working
  • Glasgow has this approach embedded in everything that we do starting with the establishment of the Glasgow Economic Leadership as a response to the global economic crisis
  • City Deal includes a £1.13bn infrastructure fund that will deliver 20 projects across the region including a rail link to Glasgow airport, £115m in city centre public realm starting with the Sauchiehall Avenue, activity to unlock housing sites and the recently completed - and the first City Deal project - Tontine business growth and innovation unit
  • To support the City Deal a regional economic strategy was launched by the City Deal board and partner local authorities setting a clear vision to 2035 including how we'll deliver a GVA uplift of 4% and support additional 29,000 jobs

4. Most productive major city in the UK by 2023

  • The city has launched a new economic strategy which aims to make Glasgow the most productive major city economy in the UK by 2023
  • Good asset base to build on:
      (£1.13bn city deal including £500m investment in road and rail infrastructure)
      (The key sectors identified by GEL have outperformed the Glasgow economy as a whole delivering above-average increase in employment of 5.7%, equivalent to 6,200 net new jobs)
  • Largest forecast growth in tourism
      (Tourism action plan launched to generate additional 1m visitors by end of strategy lifetime)
  • There is a clear focus on innovation and skills, the attraction of high value employment and continued infrastructure development to achieve the desired outcomes

 5. Strong Grade A demand and investment return

  • Glasgow ranks as the top location in the UK for financial services outside of London according to the Global Financial Centres Index
  • Central Glasgow office stock 1.8m sq ft with high demand for central Glasgow Grade A space
  • No new developments capable of being completed before 2020 and expectation of significant refurbishment programmes over next two years c 600,000 sq ft
  • Offices within a five to ten minute walk of Glasgow's main train stations are in highest demand with completions in that area such as 110 Queen St encouraging businesses to relocate from other parts of the city centre
  • Looking forward, prime sites could be developed on a speculative basis or benefit from pre lets
  • Yields in Glasgow have not reduced and prices have not risen to the same extent as in comparable regional office markets in England such as Manchester and Birmingham, and a yield gap of 0.5 – 0.75% at the prime end of the market is evident
  • Buchanan St in high demand with rental levels passing £300 per sq ft, reflecting a 14% increase over the past two years

 6. Innovation Districts - deeper public, private and academic collaborations

  • The city has numerous industry facing and funded innovation institutes including Advanced Forming Research, Power Networks Demonstration Centre and the UK’s only Fraunhofer Institute
  • The new city economic strategy outlines a commitment to support the creation of innovation districts in partnership with industry, business and the Universities such as in the Merchant City and the Queen Elizabeth University (QEU) Hospital.
      (High value manufacturing has been identified as a key opportunity for growth and Glasgow is home to Advanced Forming Research Centre which is one of seven catapult centres across the UK, the only one in Scotland. The centre has partners including Rolls Royce, Boeing and recently confirmed a partnership with Mitsubishi Materials Group which will use AFRC as a test facility to develop new products and production processes for industries including oil and gas, aerospace and automotive. Overall capital and project funding at the AFRC is estimated at £100m)
      (A collaboration between Thales and QuantIC has secured funding from the Centre for Defence Enterprise to develop a proof of concept demonstrator for a new technology system which will enable the user to track the presence of moving targets in concealed environments.)

 7. Worldwide engineering excellence

  • Glasgow is one of the UK’s largest manufacturing and technological centres including several FTSE manufacturing companies including Weir Group, Aggreko, BAe Marine Systems, Clyde Blowers and Edrington
  • Manufacturing and engineering companies in Glasgow supply into corporates and into wider UK and overseas markets.
  • Glasgow has a very significant skills base as one of the UK’s major centres for design and consulting engineering that is supported by world class engineering skills in its universities and colleges.
  • Glasgow has a strong energy industry renewable technologies platform: based on direct industry engagement with the city’s universities.
      (Glasgow is the headquarters of the UK Renewable Offshore Energy (ORE) Catapult, located adjacent to the Technology & Innovation Centre at the University of Strathclyde.)

 8. Leading Life Sciences hub

  • Life sciences is the smallest employer of the key sectors however it is recording the fastest growth
  • The Glasgow BioCorridor inc. the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital has the largest concentration of life sciences activity in Scotland: by companies, universities, research hospitals and specialist Institutes.
  • QEU identified as innovation district in new city economic strategy
      (At the centre of this is the £20M Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre (SMS-IC), Scotland’s national centre for precision medicine, which will ultimately deliver £150M added value to the Scottish economy and up to 600 jobs. The QEU is also home to the Precisions Medicine Catapult and the new Imaging Centre for Excellence will soon launch)
      (The building will include a 7 Tesla (7T) MRI scanner, an ultra-high resolution scanner which will be the first of its kind fully integrated within a clinical site in the UK and one of only four worldwide)

 9. Scotland's digital destination

  • Glasgow has 26,000 digital jobs and a digital GVA in excess of £480m which is more than our next closest rivals - Dundee and Edinburgh - combined
  • It is a sector with considerable potential as there is increasing demand for digital skills from professional services and other sectors who see it as an opportunity to move more of their business online and become more productive

10. Inaugural European Championships

  • Building on success of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, cited as the ‘best Games ever’ Glasgow will host the inaugural European Championships with Berlin in 2018
      (7 sports and 4,500 athletes)
      (Emirates Arena velodrome pictured used in 2014 and will be used in 2018 too)
  • Our reputation as a sports city continues to grow now ranked 5th in the world at the 2016 SportBusiness Ultimate Sport City Awards
  • Ambitious tourism plan launched to attract additional 1m visitors by 2023
  • Supporting our proposition:
      (Music capital of Scotland with over half of Scotlands music tourists attending a gig in the city)
      (The SSE Hyrdo cited as the worlds 3rd busiest dedicated entertainment venue)
      (Whisky capital of the world)
      (A leading retail and leisure centre which contribute a total of £5.46 billion to the economy and generate over 33,000 full-time jobs)

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