SNP's Ian Blackford unveils green roadmap to transform Scotland's economy and industry

The independent report calls for a new “Scottish Industrial Strategy Council” at the heart of the Scottish Government.

Former SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has unveiled a new roadmap aiming to transform Scotland's economy and industry by delivering sustainable growth.

The report, called the “Roadmap for a Scottish Green industrial Strategy”, calls for a new central delivery mechanism, as well as a “Scottish Industrial Strategy Council” that would report to the First Minister.

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This council would then meet every three months to discuss strategy and how to deliver change.

The report, started by Ian Blackford, focuses on how to transform Scotland's economic performance.The report, started by Ian Blackford, focuses on how to transform Scotland's economic performance.
The report, started by Ian Blackford, focuses on how to transform Scotland's economic performance.

Identifying a “window of opportunity” to deliver on the potential of the Scottish economy, the report recommends a specific focus on higher education and alternative energy as well as a “powerful new partnership” between key economic sectors and the Scottish Government.

Commissioned by Mr Blackford, the report was led by Sir Martin Donnelly, former permanent secretary at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and former president of Boeing Europe, and Professor Dominic Houlder, adjunct professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at London Business School.

Mr Blackford said: “This independent report confirms the sheer scale of opportunity that is now opening up in Scotland to build a greener, wealthier and fairer future. That clear confirmation of Scotland’s economic potential is all the more important in the current context of the UK’s deep difficulties with recent high inflation and high interest rates and its longer-term problems of low growth and low productivity.

“This report points the path to a different, more sustainable and stronger economic future, building on the huge assets that already exist in the Scottish academic sector as well as fully utilising the unfolding, but immediate potential in green energy and industry.

“I am extremely grateful to Sir Martin Donnelly and Prof Dominic Houlder for their work and to all of those who engaged with them. From all of their meetings with various sectors, there is a very confident consensus that Scotland’s next decade will be defined by economic opportunity.

“Since coming to office, the new First Minister has clearly identified that opportunity and he has moved swiftly to reset relationships with the business community. That new partnership with business is very much mirrored in the recommendations of this report.”

The Industrial Strategy Council would have a ten-year plan and, while the report does not say how much money it would require, the academics stress it is more about ideas than funding.

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Prof Houlder said: “To deliver higher-value growth and increase productivity, Scotland needs to focus on fundamental economic building blocks where it has a competitive advantage. Developing and leveraging those competitive advantages – actual and potential – can enhance the broader economy and society.

“Scotland’s research universities and alternative energy sector stand out as two such fundamental building blocks, both of which are actually or potentially world-class. Those solid foundations are the perfect place upon which to build a Scottish economic success story.”

Sir Martin added: “There now exists a clear window of opportunity to bring together expertise from wider Scottish society in support of a step change in Scotland’s sustainable growth.

“A new, powerful partnership between the Scottish Government and these key sectors and stakeholders can unlock this huge underlying economic potential.”



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