Largely driven by the impacts of Covid and climate change, several national and local strategies have been established.
In response our members have agreed - via the Glasgow Business Resilience Council and Chamber Council of Directors – that focus should now be directed to supporting the delivery of key strategic projects that will enhance the city economy and create quality jobs.
Glasgow’s 30 year economic transformation has been driven by the success of its city centre, but this has been badly damaged by the pandemic. Recent statistics show that we have still recovered only 80% of pre Covid footfall – over one year after all legal requirements on physical distancing and gatherings were removed. To support our city centre recovery, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and Glasgow City Council established and co-chair the Glasgow City Centre Task Force.
Glasgow Airport is an important international connectivity asset and is essential both to inward investment and international trade. Having no direct US routes is especially concerning given the importance of American investors including Morgan Stanley,
JP Morgan and Thermo Fisher. Glasgow Chamber is working closely with the airport team and has engaged with the Scottish Government and local government on Aviation Strategy, the Glasgow Metro link and the need for targeted route development funding.
The Scottish Event Campus is our most potent asset in providing a response to the dramatic downturn in tourism. COP26 showed just how competitive the SEC is already and Glasgow Chamber believes that the proposal for the next phase in the SEC’s expansion – building on the success of the Hydro by modernising and adapting the core conferencing facilities – is amongst the best economic development projects on offer in Glasgow today.
Glasgow Chamber sits on the steering group of the Glasgow City Innovation District and vocally supports the Glasgow Riverside Innovation District and the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District. Together these offer a tangible investment in future industries – ranging from enabling engineering technologies and artificial intelligence at GCID, precision medicine and nanofabrication at GRID and advanced manufacturing next to the Airport.
Central to our regional bid is a bold decarbonisation plan which would accelerate the Scottish and UK Governments’ net zero ambitions. The Clyde Green Freeport would achieve net zero by 2040 and includes a new district heating system; waste to energy projects; renewable energy generation and projects to roll out green fuel for air, rail, road and sea transport. Glasgow City Region’s bid will create up to 30,000 new jobs; attract £2.5 billion of capital investment and generate up to £18 billion in GVA to 2034.
Glasgow Chamber has long supported the need for a rail connection between Glasgow Airport and our city centre and made the case for that to be included in the Connectivity Commission. The Scottish Government’s recent Scottish Transport Priorities Review paper confirmed that the Glasgow Metro will be a top priority for delivery over the next 20 years. Glasgow Chamber, as a member of the Metro Strategic Advisory Group, will continue to promote the case for Line One as an immediate priority.
Glasgow Chamber supports many projects to achieve 2030 net zero targets. The Chamber supports work to develop the financial business cases that will help the city deliver on its targets with a special focus on COP26 legacy in international trade, in business engagement around both net zero and the circular economy and in work with young people through work placements, mentoring and the wider agenda of Developing the Young Workforce.
Glasgow City Council has expertise in the delivery of major events and festivals which lead to direct economic benefit. As such, the UCI Cycling World Championships present a major opportunity to build profile and generate income.
Maritime industries remain a profoundly important part of Glasgow’s economy – ranging from BAE Systems building the next generation of Royal Navy ships, nautical training at the Riverside Campus or the continued scale of Glasgow’s role as Europe’s largest centre for ship management. With the help of the Scottish Government’s Clyde Mission team, an initiative to help the maritime industry on the Clyde collaborate to grow is underway and Glasgow Chamber is helping to co-chair the work.
The Regional Skills Campaign is a mechanism for responding to the upsurge in demand for talent in industries as diverse as retail, hospitality, care, construction, digital technologies, engineering and shipbuilding and repair. Glasgow Chamber is ready to play a collaborative role in the City Region and utilise the Developing the Young Workforce position and model.