Vibrant new investments see cities raise their game

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Ambitious plans backed by $15.4bn worth of propositions are seeing Scotland’s cities collaborate to attract investment from around the world.

Scotland has long enjoyed a strong business partnership with the US, from the times of the Scots-American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie right through to the modern day business landscape.

On a recent trade mission to New York, First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon made a big impression, meeting key US businesspeople and appearing on popular TV and radio shows including a hugely successful stint on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart as well as announcing US company Spire’s new European HQ would be in Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow.

The Scottish Cities Alliance, which is the unique collaboration of Scotland’s seven cities and the Scottish government working together to promote the country’s great economic potential, joined the First Minister at an EY Business Breakfast in Manhattan during her visit, in order to showcase the billions of dollars worth of propositions in the Scottish Cities Alliance’s Investment Prospectus.

The Alliance is attracting investment, stimulating economic activity and creating business growth across the seven Scottish cities. The vast breadth of opportunity available highlights Scotland’s cities – Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Perth and Stirling – as modern places in which to invest and do business.

By utilizing the strengths of the cities in partnership with the Scottish government, the Alliance engages with investors around the world to attract investment.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is very positive about the work of the Alliance
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is very positive about the work of the Alliance

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “The recent EY Attractiveness Survey, named Scotland as the most attractive place in the UK to invest outside London. We are keen to build on that track record and we’ve got the people, the natural resources, the research base and the international reputation to achieve greater success in the future. Investment is a key priority and strong, successful cities are vitally important.

“In June 2015 the Deputy First Minister announced the first investment success from the Alliance’s $15.4 billion Investment Prospectus, the $46 million Mill Quarter project in Perth City Centre.

“This success clearly demonstrates the benefits of cities and government working in partnership.

“As a partner in the Alliance, the Scottish Government is working with our cities to promote Scotland’s unique investment opportunities nationally and internationally.”

By working together, the Alliance partners are able to share knowledge and create projects which offer great investment potential across the business spectrum.

The Scottish Cities Alliance’s online Investment Prospectus contains opportunities across all of Scotland’s cities. Here are just a few examples of the range of investment opportunities on offer.

Dundee The City of Dundee is undergoing a $1.54 billion redevelopment of its historical waterfront, which is unlocking major investment opportunities. The world-renowned V&A Museum of Design will be opening in Dundee in 2018 and is at the heart of Dundee Waterfront. A vast area of the city is being transformed, with a new railway station, port and marina developments, housing, leisure and business propositions. All the infrastructure works have been completed and the latest phase is focusing on building and investment opportunities. There are a number of sites available for investment within the Central Waterfront. Dundee Waterfront is a strategic, focused and forward looking 30-year project (2001-2031) that is propelling the city to international acclaim. There are a range of flexible investment opportunities at the site, which is already receiving worldwide media attention.

Edinburgh Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, continues to be an attractive destination for international investment. Edinburgh has the highest educated workforce of any UK city, which attracts high value jobs complemented by an award winning quality of life. The growth of Edinburgh’s knowledge and tourism economy has lead to a number of prime development opportunities across the city. This includes the development of the Edinburgh BioQuarter, which is a key site for the UK’s life sciences sector, and the continuing international investment in hotel and leisure due to the city’s reputation of having one of the highest hotel occupancy rates in Europe (2014).

Aberdeen Aberdeen has drive and ambition with an enviable position as a global energy hub. The city is an internationally recognized business center with globally competitive industries, excellent academic and research capabilities and a highly skilled workforce. The city has a portfolio of major projects designed to achieve its ambition. The new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre will be a key element of the business infrastructure that promotes Aberdeen as a World Energy City and the Energy Capital of Europe. This $508 million mixed use development will see a number of commercial and business investment opportunities.

Glasgow A $385 million project just north of Glasgow city center is one of the key infrastructure projects within its $1.54 billion City Deal. Sighthill is the largest of eight Transformational Regeneration Areas in Glasgow. The masterplan features 50 hectares of mixed use land which will include approximately 650 new homes, 500 student accommodation places, a new campus school, commercial and community facilities and new infrastructure. This major regeneration project offers significant investment opportunities across residential, student accommodation and commercial and community. Glasgow City Council is actively seeking a Joint Venture partner.

Stirling Sitting in the heart of Scotland, Stirling is the ideal business location with excellent road and rail links, it is within 45 minutes of Glasgow and Edinburgh airports and has 55% of the population of Scotland living within an hour’s drive. This proud city has great ambitions, as revealed by Stirling Council’s bold $458 million plan to reposition the city as an economic and cultural powerhouse. This state-of-the-art blueprint embraces the city’s heritage with plans for a new city parkland in the shadow of the historic Stirling Castle which will act as a new gateway to the city.

Inverness Capital of the Scottish Highlands and located close to the world-famous Loch Ness, Inverness has seen its life sciences sector flourish in recent years. Inverness Campus – a new multimillion dollar business and learning hub – aims to capitalize on its life sciences work with plots in the park ready for investment and a purpose-built life sciences building available for tenants. Significant areas of development land are designated as part of a life sciences enterprise area, meaning incentives are available for businesses in that sector. The campus is also home to Scotland’s newest university and offers opportunities for collaboration with academic research.

Perth Home to the famous Gleneagles resort, the historic city of Perth is located in the heart of Scotland. With some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery, Perth is at the gateway to the Scottish Highlands but still in close proximity to more than half of Scotland’s population. At the nexus of Scotland’s road, rail and air transport networks, and with projected population growth of 24% by 2030, access to Scotland’s top educational facilities, highly competitive land and property prices and an unsurpassed quality of life, Perth city region provides the perfect location for investors, developers and business. And with tourism generating an economic impact of over $690 million annually, the region is one of Scotland’s strongest options for tourism business investment opportunities.

Chair of the Scottish Cities Alliance, Councilor Andrew Burns, said: “The Alliance has a range of investor opportunities across the country’s seven cities, with more than 40 development opportunities across residential, hotel and leisure and office and industrial sectors, all of which are featured in the online Investment Prospectus.

“Scotland offers huge potential to international investors and the Alliance has great ambitions for Scotland’s city economies which are high quality locations in which to do business. Our recent successful visit to New York sparked a great deal of interest in the Alliance and we hope that that is the first of many business links between the USA and in particular, New York City, and Scotland’s cities.”

To view the Scottish Cities Alliance’s Investment Prospectus, detailing the potential investment across the seven cities including the propositions above, visit To learn more about any of the above propositions, contact the Scottish Cities Alliance, tel +44 141 2229737 or email