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Glasgow announces ‘most ambitious’ job creation target in the UK

Glasgow has set the UK’s most ambitious job creation target to date, aiming to create 50,000 new jobs and a thousand new businesses by 2023, its city council has announced.

The city will also aim to increase its number of tourists by an additional one million visitors each year, requiring 2,500 more hotel beds and potentially boosting the city’s tourism earnings by nearly £185m.

The targets were announced as part of Glasgow’s Economic Strategy 2016-23, announced by the leader of Glasgow City Council, Cllr Frank McAveety, at the 19th annual State of the City Economy conference.

Cllr McAveety said: “We aim to make the next seven years the biggest jobs bonanza in Glasgow's history. We know that the 50,000 [new jobs] 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.”

He also announced the council’s plans to launch Scotland’s first city innovation district near George Square in Glasgow city centre, combining business, academia and government. The scheme has already secured initial capital investment of £150m and an innovation programme worth £250m.

The city recently launched a major report into Brexit, with the launch of the Economic Strategy outlining how Glasgow will face leaving the European Union.

“Glasgow has always faced up to challenges in the past and we will face up to any new challenges that Brexit may pose,” Cllr McAveety commented.

In a speech to the conference, Scottish secretary David Mundell MP highlighted the UK government’s commitment to devolution deals across Scotland, such as the deal recently offered to Stirling.

However, he warned the conference that the Scottish government must embrace local devolution if its cities are not to fall behind those in England.

“True devolution does not mean sucking power down from Westminster only to hoard it at Holyrood,” Mundell said.

The council’s strategy to grow Glasgow’s economy will also be linked to the city’s social policies and its key challenges on health and poverty for the first time. The strategy also pledges to build 25,000 new homes, reduce the number of adults with no skills by 50% and establish the city’s own Health Commission to improve the regional health.

(Image: c. Cristian Bortes)

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