By Des McNulty, Deputy Director of Policy Scotland and Assistant Vice-Principal, Economic Development and Civic Engagement, at the University of Glasgow.
The Glasgow Commission for Economic Growth put forward a detailed submission to the Scottish Government’s Advisory Group on Economic Recovery.
In a covering letter, the Chair of the Commission, Professor Anton Muscatelli, argues that there is “broad agreement that recovery from this crisis needs to protect the vulnerable and tackle inequalities, focus upon supporting young people, prioritise the sectors and regions most impacted, boost productivity, and help the transition to a low carbon economy.
“There is also broad agreement – built up over decades of research and policymaking – about where Scotland’s economic strengths and weaknesses lie. But while regulatory and economic policy levers reside at Scottish and UK government levels, delivery – the process of re-emergence from lockdown and the transition, recovery and renewal phases – will in large measure need to be managed more locally.
‘Glasgow City Region is where Scotland’s greatest inclusion and health challenges are concentrated – it is arguably also where there is greatest potential to simultaneously generate economic growth and meet wellbeing objectives post-COVID. Given the interdependencies involved and the scale of the GCR, addressing local needs and circumstances is best managed via a range of recovery projects/initiatives which might be taken forward either led by civic partners or through mechanisms that engage them.”
See the submission:
Glasgow City Region’s economic future review
The Commission had asked Professor Duncan Maclennan to lead a review of the economic future of the Glasgow City Region (GCR), which was completed shortly before the COVID-19 emergency was declared. The summary report underlines the importance of identifying Glasgow’s growth potential for future competitiveness and prosperity.
Professor MacLennan has added a preface which takes account of the impact of COVID-19.
In it he argues that “national frameworks must be supportive, but it is primarily within Scotland’s city-regions that firms and citizens and institutions will both adapt to and create Scotland’s place in the new world. Glasgow City Region is a third of the economy of Scotland.
“An empowering, place-sensitive, partnership approach is needed, recognising that Scotland’s only true conurbation is a complex system which relies on innovative businesses, collaborative institutions, open governance and capable leadership to succeed. In Glasgow, local partners spanning local government, the business community, universities and other key civic partners have been mobilised and are co-ordinating their efforts in response to COVID-19. Their networks, insights, leverage and leadership are vital to the city-region’s recovery process.”
The Commission’s full report contains substantive chapters on skills, innovation, infrastructure and governance and provides a well-evidenced and considered analysis of the initiatives, policies and institutional changes needed to equip the GCR to prosper and compete effectively.
In the context of COVID-19, when a managed process for reopening the city and building resilience during the transition, recovery and renewal phases is required, the recommended actions (also listed in the summary report) are all the more urgent.
- Focusing for the future – p7
- The baseline – p24
- Labour market and skills – p32
- Innovation – p61
- Infrastructure – p88
- Fiscal futures – p126
- An enlightened future – p146
About the Glasgow Commission for Economic Growth
The Glasgow Commission for Economic Growth was set up in 2016 to provide support to the Glasgow City Deal Cabinet on the design of evaluation and monitoring of the deal as required by the UK and Scottish Governments. Its remit was subsequently expanded to include advice on the development of the city-region’s economic strategy and the adaption of the city deal to take account of inclusive growth and other policy priorities. Its membership includes senior academics and others with relevant senior government, agency or business experience.
Written content is published under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.
Image credit: Alexey Rezvykh | iStockPhoto