Scottish Cities Alliance launches £10bn Investment Prospectus

Councillor Andrew Burns
Councillor Andrew Burns

The Scottish Cities Alliance has issued a call to investors to tap in to the growth potential of Scotland’s cities ahead of MIPIM UK, the largest gathering of the country’s most powerful property players which takes place in London from 21 – 23 October 2015.

The Alliance will launch its new online £10 billion Investment Prospectus at MIPIM UK, which brings together the impressive range of leisure, office, residential and industrial investment opportunities currently available in Scotland’s seven cities and their regions. It underlines the innovative support available to investors and businesses and local authority commitment to enabling infrastructure improvements that will drive economic growth.

This is the second year the Scottish Cities Alliance, the partnership between Scotland’s seven cities and the Scottish Government, will have a presence at MIPIM UK, and their recent announcement of £30 million investment in a landmark development in Perth city centre has been seen as a demonstration of the benefits of cities working collaboratively.

Councillor Andrew Burns, chair of the Scottish Cities Alliance, said: “Together Scotland’s city regions have a strong story to tell, and collaboratively we are making a significant impact in a very competitive environment. The new Investment Prospectus sets out our stall to influential players in the property market and is a showcase for the opportunities currently open to investors to unlock the future economic potential of a connected Scotland.

“It sends a clear, singular, message that Scotland is going for growth and reflects the public sector’s commitment to providing infrastructure for future investment, our low carbon and smart cities initiatives.”

Earlier this month the Scottish Cities Alliance launched its Smart Cities Scotland programme which aims to make city services more effective and environmental using data to do everything from managing traffic congestion in our cities to maximising energy efficiency through smart grid technology.

Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Inverness have this year submitted bids totalling £4.2bn for City Deal funding to stimulate investment in the city regions. Glasgow was the first Scottish city region to secure City Deal status, winning £1.2bn last year.

Aberdeen’s exhibition and conference centre is one of the highlights in the new prospectus. The design for the new £185m centre shows a multi-purpose arena, a range of conference facilities and a 200-bed hotel. Over the next 10 years the centre is expected to contribute an additional 4.5 million visitors, £113m of visitor spend and £63m net Gross Value Added (GVA) to the Scottish Economy.

Opportunities for developers, investors and a wide range of business ventures still exist at Dundee Waterfront, which has been shortlisted for a prestigious MIPIM UK award. The £1bn mixed use development spans 240 hectares of land stretching 8km along the River Tay and is the 3rd largest regeneration project in the UK.

Inverness is creating opportunities for organisations in the knowledge economy to co-locate and collaborate at Inverness Campus, one of the most ambitious projects in Scotland which opened earlier this year. The Campus occupies 215 acres of prime development land connected directly to 80 acres of an already thriving life sciences community. A recently announced £44m deal with developer Cityheart will see a 150-bed student accommodation complex built on the campus.

Also featured is the Food and Drink Park in Perth, a dedicated hub for this key growth sector in Scotland. Within Perth and Kinross, the annual turnover of the food and drink sector is estimated at £280m and the 16-acre site offers businesses space for expansion.

Perth also recently announced the new Thimblerow Development. This significant project will establish a mix of restaurants and bars, speciality shops, a cinema, gyms, housing, and a multi-storey car park which forms a cornerstone of the city’s wider plans to establish a new cultural quarter in the city centre.

And investors are being encouraged to look afresh at Stirling which is promoting a £200m city development framework focusing on key projects which will further develop the city as a place of heritage, vibrancy and modernity with a thriving creative and cultural sector and as a seedbed of talent and innovation.

Cabinet secretary for infrastructure, investment and cities, Keith Brown, said: “I fully support the Scottish Cities Alliance’s call to investors. The £10 billion development and investment prospectus launched today highlights the broad range of investment opportunities across our cities and city regions. I therefore call on the investment community to get behind this prospectus and help us to drive sustainable economic growth through the delivery of future-proofed infrastructure and connectivity across our cities and their regions.”

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