Property sector and government join forces for inaugural Scottish Real Estate Forum

Chris Stewart
Chris Stewart

Cabinet secretary for the economy Keith Brown and property developer Chris Stewart will today co-chair the inaugural Scottish Real Estate Forum, established to underline the status of the property sector as a key economic driver.

Representatives from across government tax, fiscal, property and infrastructure departments will attend the round table discussion along with the Scottish Property Federation (SPF) and leading figures from the real estate sector.

The agenda is expected to cover the current health of the property markets, how it impacts the wider economy and attracting capital investment into the economy via housing, industrial, office and regeneration projects.

The Forum was first proposed by SPF earlier this year in meetings with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Derek Mackay, cabinet secretary for the economy and constitution, as a means to ensure government policy is based not only on a deep understanding of the issues impacting the real estate sector including its position as a source for overseas based inward capital investment but also of the opportunities it can deliver for the wider economy.

It is the first time that representatives across a spectrum of government departments responsible for real estate has worked with the industry in this way.

Chris Stewart is attending the meeting as both the current chair of SPF and as one of Scotland’s trusted developers having led important regeneration projects in Edinburgh and now in Glasgow.

He said: “The Scottish Real Estate Forum is an opportunity to create a road map for economic growth through investment in commercial real estate, hotels, heritage and other urban building projects. By bringing together everyone who has an interest in commercial and residential property investment and development we have the opportunity to boost the economy across the country.”

David Melhuish, director of the Scottish Property Federation, said: “We are delighted that the Scottish Government have heeded our calls for a Real Estate Forum. The sector contributes almost £6 billion to Scotland’s overall output and there are in the region of 130,000 jobs which are reliant upon it, that’s why it’s so important that the sector and government get around the table to discuss the challenges and opportunities.

“We have a number of great companies and individuals operating in Scotland who have the skills to attract investment into Scotland and I’m keen to find out what further support the Government can offer to attract that investment.”

Keith Brown added: “This Real Estate Forum has been established following meetings between the Scottish Property Federation and the First Minister and Deputy First Minister earlier this year.

“It is intended to bring together those government departments involved in property matters to work with representatives from industry to support greater investment in places, jobs and the successful delivery of real estate to support the economy, wider society and government objectives.”

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