A Thriving Economy

A Thriving

The SNP’s commitment:
  • Create and support the Glasgow Partnership for Economic Growth.
  • Implement a consistent approach to business support, to help enterprises to grow the economy and create sustainable jobs.
  • Work with neighbouring councils to refocus and reprioritise the City Deal.
  • Support entrepreneurs in key economic sectors to start, grow and sustain businesses.
  • Work with government and business to devise schemes which create and sustain employment.
  • Rebuild our transport and broadband infrastructure to support businesses and employees.
  • Reform regulations, planning and licensing to be more responsive for business and communities.









"Glasgow needs a Council with the vision, energy and imagination to drive the city forward. We want to grow our economy in a fairer way that is sustainable and benefits the whole city."

Richard Bell
For Govan






Glasgow needs a Council with the vision, energy and imagination to drive the city forward in these difficult economic times. Brexit and the continuing UK Government austerity programme pose significant risks to Glasgow’s economic potential – but a city with such considerable human resources is not overawed.

The SNP wants to grow our economy in an inclusive and more equitable way that is sustainable and benefits the whole city. A strong economy, based on decently-paid, secure work, will generate the resources we need at local level to tackle Glasgow’s long-term social and economic inequalities and help to create a fairer city for everyone.

Businesses need a City Government that will create the right conditions to encourage them to thrive in Glasgow, from global firms bringing large-scale investment to the small and medium sized businesses which are the bedrock of local economies.

Glasgow has seen significant economic development in recent decades. However, many people and many localities have failed to keep pace with economic growth in the city. In reprioritising the city’s economy, we will seek to ensure support for socio-economic equity in all public policy. Furthermore, we will investigate the potential for introducing a basic income for Glasgow, and work with Government to achieve this.

Economic Leadership for Glasgow

Glasgow’s economy has not reached its full potential in recent years. Glasgow has seen competitor cities and city regions grow faster and develop their economies and labour markets in more sustainable ways. As the cornerstone of the largest metropolitan area in Scotland, we recognise the importance of Glasgow leading, while collaborating with partners in government, business and academia.

We will redesign the city’s economic development leadership landscape into a Glasgow Partnership for Economic Growth (GPEG). We will unify resources and prioritise work in a new economic strategy for Glasgow and the wider city region, in partnership with neighbouring councils, business and academia.

GPEG will be responsible for plans to set up three dedicated hubs to support growth:

  • the Glasgow Investment Hub, which will draw in and support foreign investment;
  • the Glasgow Business Support Hub, to provide strategic advice and direct support to businesses; and
  • the Glasgow Skills Hub, which will work in partnership with the private sector, schools, colleges and universities to ensure that the city has the skillset needed to succeed.

We will prioritise a new regeneration strategy for the city, focusing on building the economic framework necessary to ensure new business start-ups – particularly in the most economically disadvantaged areas of Glasgow – are nurtured and supported to grow, develop innovative products and identify new and emerging markets for goods and services. We will also work with the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise to support the manufacturing sector, through a city region action plan.

We will also explore the use of existing and innovative funding streams to invest in the city’s infrastructure. By focusing investment opportunities, we can maximise the impact of strategic initiatives such as City Deal, as part of the wider Glasgow Partnership for Economic Growth.

The Council has a key role to play in the deployment of new technologies to make Glasgow a more connected city. The learning from Future Cities in Glasgow should be built upon and an SNP City Government will seek innovative ideas for Glasgow.

A new SNP administration in Glasgow would ensure all of the council’s resources, working in partnership with the public & private sector and fully mobilising the talents and capacities of all our citizens, are utilised to guarantee maximum benefit from growth in areas including:

  • precision medicine
  • life sciences
  • quantum technologies, and
  • zero carbon innovations.

City Deal

The £1.13 billion City Deal – aided by £500m pledged by the Scottish Government – is a key opportunity to respond to the economic challenges this city faces, whether that is providing better, smarter care and support for an ageing population; ensuring that increasingly mobile modern workers and businesses find what they need in the city; or building the connected, liveable communities that will entice global businesses to want to locate their headquarters and staff in Glasgow. The SNP believes that the City Deal should be used to deliver projects of scale and ambition and ensure that Glasgow is able to respond to the economic and social challenges of the future.

We know that a co-ordinated City Deal can make significant improvements to the Clyde Valley economy. We will work with partner councils and Government to improve the focus and long-term, integrated, strategic outcomes of the Glasgow and Clyde Valley City Deal. The City Deal has the potential to, for example:

  • deliver an improved transport network across Glasgow
  • support small businesses within the wider City Deal area
  • develop key sites for regeneration and
  • support training and employment across the region.

City Deal projects must be of an appropriate type and scale that will deliver long-lasting benefits to the city, the city-region and its citizens. With this opportunity, there is no place for small scale thinking or piecemeal projects. The City Deal must deliver a real step-change for Glasgow.

The Scottish Event Campus – A Success Story for Glasgow

The Scottish Event Campus (SEC) is a Glasgow and Scottish success story. We fully support the SEC's ambitious plans for the future.

We will work with partners at all levels of Government to build on the success of the SEC and deliver capacity for growth in Glasgow. This will boost Glasgow’s economy through significant investment in our infrastructure and further build on the success experienced by developing the hotel and hospitality sector in Glasgow.

This development will be aligned to investment around City Deal to maximise the impact on the Glasgow economy in a structured and coherent plan. We will ensure this development is inclusive, by building on the expertise developed in Glasgow City Council around community benefit clauses to provide jobs and training opportunities for Glasgow’s citizens and business opportunities for small businesses.

The ongoing and further success of the SEC is only part of the offering Glasgow provides. To further support the city’s entertainment and conference sectors, we will work proactively with partners, such as the Chambers of Commerce and the wider hospitality industry, to sure that the best possible business conditions are available.

Business and Innovation

The vast majority of Glasgow’s businesses are small businesses. They are the foundation of our city economy. As such, we recognise the importance of these enterprises to Glasgow.

We understand that businesses will grow the economy and create jobs. An SNP City Government will create the right conditions to support businesses, establishing a micro and small enterprise strategic framework, as part of the Glasgow Partnership for Economic Growth, to deliver the right support and infrastructure for our new and growing enterprises. We will ensure that representative voices of small businesses, such as the FSB, are heard at the highest levels of Glasgow’s economic leadership. We will also:

  • use new business rate powers, for the first time, to support specific sectors and localities in need of assistance.
  • improve consultation with businesses on matters that affect them.
  • ensure that the needs of employers are taken into greater account in our schools, as part of efforts to improve the competitiveness of Glasgow’s wider labour market.
  • ensure a simple conduit for business to access advice, support and services provided by an SNP City Government.
  • ensure that council departments work more cohesively, to avoid duplication and confusion for businesses of all sizes.
  • involve local businesses and local data in the creation of local economic strategies and frameworks across the city.

An SNP City Government will revise current procurement strategies, to ensure that policy allows for greater access by local businesses, including small businesses. We will also ensure that the City Government pays bills on time, in line with Scottish Government guidance. And, as part of the Glasgow Partnership for Economic Growth, we will ensure an annual review of the city’s economic strategy and performance, to ensure the focus of priorities remains targeted on the sectors and issues which matter.

Glasgow has a massive resource in the form of the skills and talents of its citizens. An SNP administration will ensure that there is a clear focus on supporting our indigenous entrepreneurs, providing the support and resources to community based local enterprises. Encouraging small local enterprises is crucial for the city economy, as they provide sustainable employment in communities and keep the profits generated within those localities.

Jobs and Employability

The Glasgow city region is Scotland’s economic engine, with hundreds of thousands of people working in the city every day. However, many of those jobs are filled by people who live outside of Glasgow, with many Glaswegians left behind.

We understand the links between employability and skills. We appreciate that to make our people more competitive we must improve the skills and experience of Glaswegians. We will address long-term issues through our education services, but those in the labour market today - struggling to find work - need support now. That is why we will continue to explore the feasibility of a universal income for Glasgow, in partnership with those in national government.

We will work with partners in business, the third sector and academia to devise effective schemes to improve the skills and experience of those seeking support into employment. We will work to support those experiencing various forms of barrier to the labour market, as a City Government or in partnership with Government, third sector organisations or business. This includes those:

  • with physical or mental ill health
  • who require training or support to enter work and
  • who have been looking to re-enter the workplace after a period away from work.

We will also develop a strategy to ensure that the Council is a leader in employing people from Glasgow. This will improve employability in the city, as well as increasing Council spend to benefit local economies in Glasgow.

Infrastructure for Glasgow

Glasgow’s transport, utilities and services infrastructure needs constant care and attention to ensure the city maximises its economic impact.
Our public transport system is failing to meet the needs of our businesses, communities or citizens. For too many, the bus, rail and subway networks to do not adequately link home to work, or business to markets. This can affect our city economy.

We are committed to investment in our pavements, roads and active travel networks. But we will use all the powers at the council’s disposal to improve public transport, making it fit for the 21st century. For example, we will:

  • review the operation of SPT, in partnership with the Scottish Government
  • revise the Council’s Statutory Quality Partnership with bus operators
  • work with transport providers for common single-ticketing across the rail and bus networks.

Our digital infrastructure also requires investment. Many businesses are unable to access high speed broadband connectivity. The Scottish Government has a strategic vision for Scotland’s digital future. The infrastructure action plan commits to world-class digital connectivity across the whole of Scotland by 2020. This underpins an ambition for Scotland to become a world-class digital nation and we will work to ensure Glasgow is at the heart of this plan. As part of this, we will identify and eliminate “not spots” affecting Glasgow’s digital connectivity.

An SNP City Government will work dynamically with partners, including government and broadband providers, to exploit digital technologies and provide an economic environment in Glasgow that encourages digital innovation and supports the creation, growth and digital transformation of businesses.

Financial Inclusion

Alongside support for jobs and the economy, we are also committed to providing the best support to individuals and households. We will move quickly to review the Council’s current Financial Inclusion Strategy – which runs out in 2018 - to ensure that it has the breadth and reach to meet the different needs of citizens and families across the city and in a wide range of financial circumstances. We will work closely with Credit Unions, Citizens’ Advice Bureaux and Financial Inclusion service providers to expand and extend the range and level of services available across the city – such as low interest small loans – and ensure that these are sufficiently funded in future years.

Regulation, Planning and Licensing

An SNP administration will improve the Planning & Licensing functions of Glasgow City Council in order that they more closely serve the interests of our citizens and communities. We will create a more accessible, efficient and transparent Planning & Licensing system, which balances support for business and enterprise with responsibility for the wellbeing of communities.

As part of the wider reform of the city, an SNP City Government will consult on how best to deliver local planning and licensing committees. We will ensure that decisions affecting local communities are made locally. We will ensure that all legislative requirements are met, and that strategic responsibility remains with central committees in the City Chambers.

Global Glasgow

Glasgow was once known as the second city of Empire. It has, for centuries, had an outward focus with one eye on the world. The Glasgow of today should play a larger, leading role in the world. The SNP wants Glasgow to be a city that people want to visit and aspire to live in. Creating a global Glasgow with strong appeal will be a job for everyone in our city.

Our city has been built by generations of immigrants from around the world. Today, our city is the most ethnically diverse in Scotland. This diversity is one of Glasgow’s strengths and provides a foundation to develop a new International Strategy for Glasgow. This strategy, which will focus on internationalising Glasgow's economy, will be produced with the support of our world-leading academic sector. We will also involve Glasgow’s people. For example, we will encourage Glaswegians to register skills, languages and experiences that could be used to the city’s advantage, or help achieve new opportunities for either inward investment or to enter new export markets.

The International Strategy will also seek to connect with Glaswegians living elsewhere: through our ‘Global Glasgow’ scheme, we will appoint Glasgow Ambassadors to promote the city.

In the aftermath of the Brexit result, we will work with Government at all levels to protect the rights of EU citizens living in Glasgow. We will do everything in our power to welcome, engage and link with everyone who has made Glasgow their home. We will also continue our links with other cities via organisations such as Eurocities, COSLA’s European office and the Scotland Europa office. We will investigate other opportunities for networks of international cities and city regions, to learn and share good practice.

Glasgow currently has formal twinning arrangements with eight cities. We will look at our international links and seek to strengthen and promote new opportunities to work co-operatively. We will aspire to work more closely with neighbouring cities in Northern Europe and to building new relationships by bringing cities together to share best practice.

Glasgow is the global gateway to Scotland. We will enhance our international standing by promoting Glasgow to the world as a city of thriving culture and commerce. We will support efforts to bring an additional one million tourists to Glasgow by 2023 and support our international tourist and hospitality industry. This will attract greater investment and new jobs to Glasgow, for example by strengthening our conference and event offering in the city. We will seek to position Glasgow as a key destination for businesses and people from the world’s most dynamic cities and regions. This will include cities beyond Europe, into Asia, Africa and the Americas. By combining the expertise of our citizens and companies with our international connections, we can work to minimise and mitigate the impact of Brexit on Glasgow’s standing as a world city.