Seven compelling cities that invite investment

Aberdeen's city council is committed to a £516m capital programme over the next five years
Aberdeen's city council is committed to a £516m capital programme over the next five years


Aberdeen city is embarking on an exciting transformational journey as the city council is committed to a £516m investment in a capital programme over the next five years. In order to ensure that both the people of Aberdeen and the businesses in our city have a bright and prosperous future Aberdeen City Council is investing in major projects which include the comprehensive City Centre Masterplan, schools and housing developments, road construction, digital enhancements and a variety of other key projects. The investment will allow the city to face current challenges and thrive by acting as a catalyst for economic growth.

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Investment in infrastructure projects is an important part of the emerging regional economic strategy to safeguard the future prosperity of the north-east area. It is a clear statement that Aberdeen remains open for business and very much open to new private investment. Partnership working with Aberdeen City Council and Muse to deliver Marischal Square, due to open next year, and a joint venture with Henry Boot to deliver a new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre are great examples of how the Council can work with the private sector to deliver continuing economic buoyancy for Aberdeen and the north-east region.


This year has seen a rush of private sector investment in the £1bn Dundee Waterfront. Leading UK development and regeneration company, Our Enterprise, which has developed a pioneering ‘social legacy’ business model, is investing £25m to build 91 apartments and create a design and innovation quarter aimed at retaining the city’s graduates.

Another leading construction and infrastructure company is fine tuning proposals to build flats, premium office space and a hotel on a site adjacent to the new V&A Museum of Design Dundee. Forth Ports is investing £10m in a project that will enable Dundee Port to capitalise on the expansion in renewables and decommissioning work from the North Sea.


Edinburgh is The European magazine’s ‘European FDI City of the Year’ 2015/16 for its robust economic performance. Real estate has been underpinned by a resilient economic and business base which has driven rental growth and resulted in multiple major office transactions.

Flagship office developments are under construction and have attracted significant pre-lets.

The booming tech sector is a leading source of office demand. Hotel occupancy rates are among the highest in student accommodation sectors are also increasingly attractive to investors. The appeal of a labour pool that includes over 150,000 graduates and air links to over 100 destinations allows the city to claim the attributes of a global centre while retaining outstanding quality of life and character.

This year’s August festival season drew 2,444 artists from 36 nations, attracting an audience of 4.5m and generating over £313m for the Scottish economy.


Glasgow’s City Region City Deal is being delivered through a programme of enabling works which will have a transformational impact on the region’s economy of the next 20 years. Through this funding mechanism, 20 large-scale projects including improved public transport, urban drainage systems, city centre public realm upgrades and a number of footbridges will be delivered to complement and facilitate future development and investment.

Smart cities technology will be embedded in City Deal projects from the outset, increasing and exploiting the existing assets by integrating multiple technological and sensor developments to drive efficiency in service delivery and to provide new services to the city.

The City Deal uplift is expected to be long-term, creating around 29,000 permanent jobs in the region and attracting an additional £3.3bn of private sector investment. With this level of sustained physical investment the need for further office accommodation and hotel beds is imperative.


The city of Inverness and the wider Highland region offers a unique and stunning environment in which to live, work, study and visit and it is a globally recognised tourist destination.

UK and Scottish Government funding, together with investment by the council and public partners, will deliver a step change in digital connectivity, digital healthcare, skills, business development and infrastructure in a City-Region Deal which was signed in March.

It is estimated that the £315m city-region deal investment will lever up to £1billion of further investment in the economy of the Highlands.

Opportunities for the growth of the region will be greatly enhanced by improved air links with Heathrow and Amsterdam Schiphol and a number of major infrastructure projects. Further projects include a new University of the Highlands and Islands School of Health, Social Care and Life Sciences on the recently opened Inverness Campus, and Science Skills Academy Hubs in five locations across the Highlands.


Perth has projected growth of 25% by 2030 and a digital district is being created in the city centre
Perth has projected growth of 25% by 2030 and a digital district is being created in the city centre

Perth is a dynamic city and, with projected growth of 25% by 2030, is one of the fastest growing in Scotland. The city is home to the largest campus of the University of the Highlands & Islands and several corporate headquarters, including energy giant SSE.

With significant strengths in food and drink, tourism and clean technology, Perth is primed for significant international investment opportunities, supported by the council’s tailored “open for business” approach.


Situated in the heart of Scotland, with excellent transport links to major cities and rural areas, Stirling is a perfect location for business growth in the UK.

With a variety of industrial spaces available and office property sale prices less than quarter that of the national average, Stirling has competitive rates for both new and existing businesses. Thanks to a college with excellent links to local employers and a university renowned for its world-class research, there is also a large trained workforce available in the area.

As part of a City Deal project, a Digital District is also being created in the city centre which will attract dynamic digital businesses to the area with a vision to establish Stirling as the UK’s leading coding city.

To view the Alliance’s online investment Pitch Book, visit