People, Place and Prosperity – Scotland’s Regional Economies

Ross Martin, Regional Economic Advisor, Scottish Government.

Scotland’s Economy is a reflection of its people – increasingly diverse, with strong and proud roots in this place where we choose to live, work and play.

Looked at through the lens of our most prominent people, e.g. our current crop of world class sports stars, it is visibly productive like Andy Murray, but like him, all too often having to bounce back from injury. It’s innovative, just like our national rugby teams, led by the inventive Gregor Townsend and his protégé Shade Munro, both of whom are keenly trying out new ideas, not afraid to fail, at least on occasion.

More and more Scotland’s Economy is also finding international success on the global stage, like the inspirational and grittily determined Laura Muir, and perhaps most characteristically it’s inclusive, and all the more competitive for it, just like our World Cup qualifying Scottish Women’s International Football Team.

These four core characteristics reflect those of Scotland’s Economy – productive capacity, increasing levels of innovation, a more confident internationalisation and of course our long standing, innate sense of inclusivity. These are the hallmarks of inclusive and sustainable growth, they build in resilience as standard, by learning the lessons of the past to better prepare for and shape the future.

Scotland’s Economy is undergoing a long awaited, fundamental shift; from old economy to new, high to low carbon, analogue to digital, driven by data and predictive analytics. But above all, it is recognising the role, power and productive functionality of its regions. Gathering around the infrastructure investment flags of City and other Growth Deals, Scotland’s Economy is shaping up to be more competitive and resilient in an increasingly uncertain context, through the development of its regional economies.

In economic terms this translates into diversity, with a focus on their current, previous and projected performance, with the additionality that their collective efforts can bring, including through the most challenging, but potentially most productive, reform of revenue, on both the income and expenditure sides of the public sector balance sheet.

This is the challenge and the opportunity. SCRIG is here to help you grasp it.