The potential of many is harnessed by a singular vision

Glasgow's City Deal uplift is expected to be long-term, creating around 29,000 permanent jobs and attracting an additional £.3.3bn of private sector investment

A unique and far-sighted collaboration is working on several levels to attract investment, stimulate economic activity and create business growth in Scotland’s seven cities

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By Clare Ross

Scotland has long punched above its weight in attracting inward investment and the country’s seven cities are driving this growth.

The cities are thriving and continue to bring forward world class offerings from the full range of sectors that appeal to international investors.

The Scottish Cities Alliance is a unique collaboration of Scotland’s seven cities – Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Perth, Stirling – and the Scottish Government, which is working to attract investment, stimulate economic activity and create business growth. Scotland’s cities offer 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.

Scotland’s cities play key roles in the global development of growth sectors and international recognition in areas such as life science, financial services, fintech and food and drink is driving up business confidence which is stimulating further investment across Scotland.

This serves to ensure that it is well placed to compete to attract the best talent to benefit from future international demand.

Scotland’s reputation as a safe and stable country with a manageable scale is often cited as one of the prime factors that lead investors to explore opportunities within the country. In Scotland’s cities there is a flexibility and openness to work with investors, developers, landowners, planners and public authorities to create packages and propositions that remove the barriers to investment by ensuring all necessary partners are on board and working together.

The Alliance recently launched its online Investment Pitch Book, showcasing £7.5bn of investor-ready opportunities across the seven cities. The projects are readily accessible to global investors, demonstrating to the world that Scotland’s Cities are competitive investment locations. The Pitch Book represents a portfolio of investment opportunities which will be regularly updated with substantive projects across a variety of asset categories, project scales and stages of development, reflecting the progressive nature of development opportunities available in Scotland’s Cities and City Regions.

This selection highlights projects at differing stages of development and timeline and includes investor ready projects, projects coming through the pipeline and projects at very early ‘concept’ stages of development. Working with partners in public and private sector, a further stream of substantives projects will be continuously identified to further the development of the portfolio of propositions to take to markets.

The Pitch Book highlights the world class offerings from each of Scotland’s cities. The cities’ diversity, business friendly approach and growing sectors demonstrate they have a lot to offer international investors through a wide range of development opportunities – in residential, hotel and leisure, office and industrial sectors, all of which are featured and fully searchable in detail online. This collaborative approach enables the Alliance to develop aggregated projects of scale working with partner cities to strengthen and broaden the investment offering.

The Alliance is embarking upon a programme of activity to engage with global investors through attendance at events such as the recent ExpoReal property show in Munich and will be showcasing the opportunities presented by the portfolio at MIPIM UK in London this week and at MIPIM Cannes in March 2017.

Councillor Andrew Burns, Chair of the Scottish Cities Alliance
Councillor Andrew Burns, Chair of the Scottish Cities Alliance

Councillor Andrew Burns, Chair of the Scottish Cities Alliance, said: “Scotland’s cities and their regions are working collaboratively in order to make a big impact in the investor arena and highlight the huge rewards and benefits of investing in Scotland’s cities.

“With a Smart Cities Scotland programme rolling out across the cities, as well as low carbon and hydrogen projects, our cities are modern places to do business.

“The Alliance has brought in £80m to the Scottish economy, and we hope to build on this success at MIPIM UK with the Scottish Cities Alliance’s new Pitch Book detailing £7.5bn worth of potential investments across the seven cities.

“The benefit of the Alliance’s unique partnership is cemented by this success and I am sure that Scotland’s cities will continue to be seen as a global investor’s destination of choice.”

Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work
Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work

Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, said: “Our cities are key drivers of economic growth. Together with their regions, they account for almost 70% of our national output and 60% of our exports and they provide fantastic opportunities for investment. The MIPIM UK conference is an ideal opportunity to showcase the scale of opportunity in Scotland and show why Scotland is a great place for investment – the best performing part of the UK outside London in terms of attracting foreign investment.”