Martin Joyce: Driving innovation and regeneration can help supercharge growth

Martin Joyce: Driving innovation and regeneration can help supercharge growth

Martin Joyce

Clyde Gateway’s approach to fostering an innovation economy can be replicated to encourage growth across Scotland, says executive director of regeneration Martin Joyce.

The economic outlook for Scotland and the wider UK appears to be improving, if only incrementally. There is an opportunity to supercharge this growth, securing better paid jobs and a greener future in the process, but only if we invest in driving innovation and creating the right environment for organisations to flourish. At Clyde Gateway, in the east end of Glasgow and South Lanarkshire, we have built the foundations for this to happen.

Places like Dalmarnock, Bridgeton and Rutherglen in this part of the city were historically synonymous with heavy industry. The economic and social challenges for the community when these disappeared are well known and understood, however after sustained investment in the area, spurred on by the development of the Commonwealth Games ten years ago, there have been tangible improvements.

Indeed, for many people, the regeneration has been completely transformational, with new housing, improved civic spaces, and a number of new parks. Importantly, many new businesses have made Clyde Gateway their home, bringing new jobs and ensuring that regeneration benefits will be locked in for generations to come.

However, I believe we can do more with the right investment. If we can continue to attract high value manufacturing and research and development organisations to Clyde Gateway then it will not just be known for being a regeneration success story, but as the hub for key growth sectors in Scotland.

Martin Joyce: Driving innovation and regeneration can help supercharge growth

An example of this working well is at the Clyde Gateway East business park where recent Scottish Enterprise funding is allowing Clyde Gateway to develop additional commercial units where advanced manufacturers like Torishima and Glacier Energy have already found a home. Or, in the derelict land in Shawfield that is being remediated and developed for commercial use, using Levelling Up funding from the UK Government, encouraging more businesses to choose Clyde Gateway and create local jobs.

However, this success has not happened by accident. In Clyde Gateway we have created an area for business with the infrastructure to thrive yet we have been able to remain keenly focused on the environment - something that is of utmost importance to businesses nowadays. Organisations moving into commercial spaces in Dalmarnock can benefit from a district heating network and this is attracting high growth businesses like Utopi which are driven by their ESG purpose.

Similarly, Magenta Park, which is transitioning to focus on innovation, will utilise a pioneering renewable heating and cooling district heat network - one of only five in Europe. The park will have the capacity to provide commercial space suitable for high value manufacturing and life sciences, again helping to make Clyde Gateway one of the most attractive areas of Scotland for business while remaining responsive to changing market demands.

These high growth sectors really have the potential to revitalise long-term growth in Glasgow, Scotland, and the UK. Fostering an innovation economy will get more people into higher paid jobs, address issues of low productivity that have impacted our economy in recent years, while delivering a greener and cleaner future.

Regeneration companies like Clyde Gateway serve as a testament to the power of reversing economic fortunes. Using a mixture of private and public funding we have built momentum in delivering economic and social change for our communities. If we push on, not just in Glasgow, but in the country as a whole, to deliver a more innovative economy, then we can create a legacy of prosperity and opportunity for generations to come.

This article initially appeared in The Scotsman.

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