Glasgow City Council announces plans to create 50k jobs by 2023

Council chiefs in Glasgow have announced ambitious plans to create 50,000 jobs and 1,000 new businesses over the next seven years.

Frank McAveety, leader of Glasgow City Council. Picture: John Devlin

The authority also hopes to increase the number of visitors to the city from two million to three million each year, which will increase tourism earnings by almost £185 million.

An increase of one million visitors a year, the council estimates, will require an additional 2,500 hotel beds.

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The growth targets are included in the new Glasgow Economic Strategy 2016-2023 at the 19th annual State of the City Economy Conference held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in the city centre on Friday.

Council leaders also propose to create “Scotland’s first city innovation district” centre near the Technical Innovation Centre near George Square, which already has £150 million capital investment and a £250 million innovation programme.

Councillor Frank McAveety, leader of Glasgow City Council said: “We aim to make the next seven years the biggest jobs bonanza in Glasgow’s history. We know that the 50,000 target is ambitious but we have done the sums and they add up.

“We plan to deliver 50,000 jobs across all of the city’s employment sectors, from tourism to high tech, from renewables to health and life sciences.

“This strategy is the most ambitious on record, and rightly so because Glasgow is open for business.”

The conference theme - Glasgow is Open for Business - follows publication of a Brexit report and new economic strategy, and provides direction on how the city will cope with leaving the European Union.

David Mundell MP, Secretary of State, spoke at the event and said Wednesday’s Autumn Statement had delivered for Scotland and highlighted the UK Government’s ongoing commitment to city deals across Scotland.

However, he urged the Scottish Government to devolve further powers to local level. He said: “True devolution does not mean sucking power down from Westminster only to hoard it at Holyrood.”

The economic strategy includes plans to build 25,000 new homes; create 1,000 Glasgow living-wage employers; a 50% reduction in adults with no skills; and the provision of employability support to help Glaswegians find jobs.

The authority proposes the launch of a tourism and visitor economy action plan early next month.

It plans to target new markets in Europe, North America and the Far East to attract new jobs and businesses.

It says it will develop a childcare co-operative to help families with childcare needs and establish a health commission to improve the city’s health.

Mr McAveety says the authority will face up to any challenges Brexit poses and believes tourism targets are achievable.

He said: “Some may say that our aim to increase visitor numbers is a target too far. But we have achieved similar ambitions in the past and we want to be even more ambitious in the future.”