The city aims to have 50,000 new jobs and an additional 1000 new businesses by 2023.

It will also aim to increase the number of tourists visiting the city from two million to three million each year, growing tourism earnings by almost £185m. An increase of one million visitors a year will require an additional 2500 hotel beds.

The growth targets are included in the new Glasgow Economic Strategy 2016-2023 announced today by Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council, at the 19th annual State of the City Economy Conference.

To ensure the city remains at the cutting edge of innovation plans were also announced to launch Scotland’s first city innovation district, in the city centre. The area around the Technical Innovation Centre near George Square already has £150million initial capital investment and an innovation programme worth £250m.

Councillor McAveety said: “We aim to make the next seven years the biggest jobs bonanza in Glasgow’s history. We know that the 50,000 target is ambitious but we have done the sums and they add up.

“We plan to deliver 50,000 jobs across all of the city’s employment sectors, from tourism to high tech, from renewables to health and life sciences. This strategy is the most ambitious on record and rightly so because Glasgow is open for business.

The theme for this year’s conference is Glasgow is Open for Business. The city recently launched a major Brexit report and the launch of the new economic strategy offers a clear direction on how Glasgow will meet the challenges of leaving the European Union.

Cllr McAveety said: “Glasgow has always faced up to challenges in the past and we will face up to any new challenges that Brexit may pose.”

On the tourism targets, Cllr McAveety said: “Some may say that our aim to increase visitor numbers is a target too far. But we have achieved similar ambitions in the past and we want to be even more ambitious in the future.

“When we pledged to take tourist numbers towards two million we were told that it could never happen. But it has. That is an unassailable fact.”

Glasgow is home to one of the most collaborative and dynamic innovation economies in Europe, with outstanding partnerships between the public, private and academic sectors. To that end the new Economic Strategy aims to create Glasgow’s first Innovation District in the centre of the city.

It will bring business, academia and government together in Glasgow to grow the health and life sciences and engineering sectors respectively. The Glasgow Innovation District will be co-located across the city at Strathclyde University’s Technology & Innovation Centre (TiC); Scottish Enterprise’s Innovo Building; and Glasgow City Council’s City Deal Tontine Building that supports high-growth companies.

The Secretary of State for Scotland, the Rt. Hon. David Mundell MP, said the Scottish Government must embrace local devolution if Scotland’s great cities were not to fall behind those in England.

In a speech to the conference, he said this week’s Autumn Statement had delivered for Scotland and highlighted the UK Government’s on-going commitment to City Deals across Scotland.

However, he urged the Scottish Government to devolve further powers to local level. He said: “True devolution does not mean sucking power down from Westminster only to hoard it at Holyrood.”

The new Glasgow Economic Strategy 2016-2023 will ensure the city’s continued growth post-Brexit. For the first time, the strategy to grow the city’s economy been linked to the city’s social policies and its key challenges on health and poverty.

The strategy also pledges:

  • To build 25,000 new homes
  • Have 1000 Glasgow Living Wage Employers vA 50% reduction in the numbers of adults with no skills
  • All employability support in the city will include a transferable qualification to help Glaswegians find jobs.

Among the early actions from the strategy will be:

  • The launch of a Tourism and Visitor Economy Action Plan in early December.
  • The targeting of new markets in Europe, North America and the Far East to bring new jobs and businesses to the city vThe development of a childcare co-operative to help working families with their childcare needs.
  • Establish a Health Commission to improve the city’s health.

At the heart of Glasgow’s new economic strategy will be the city’s eight key sectors:

  • Digital/tech
  • Finance and business services
  • Creative industries
  • Low carbon
  • Health and life sciences
  • Engineering, design and advanced manufacturing
  • Tourism and events
  • Higher and further education

These sectors have already helped ensure Glasgow has had the fastest growing major city economy in the UK despite the recent economic downturn.

The new economic strategy has 10 themes which will focused on 50 actions to help continue to allow Glasgow to flourish and grow. The 10 themes are:

  1. Raising Health
  2. Skills for All
  3. A Fairer Glasgow
  4. Supporting Our Key Sectors
  5. Innovation/High Value Employment
  6. Smart Infrastructure Investment
  7. Housing Mixv
  8. Supporting Enterprise
  9. Linking Education to Employment Opportunities
  10. Increasing Our Population

The new strategy document aims to create opportunities for all Glaswegians particularly those furthest from the jobs market.



Read the Glasgow Economic Strategy 2016-2023

Glasgow’s Brexit report is available here 

Glasgow is Open for Business video featuring some of the city’s top business and academic innovators: