Council initiative has helped attract £1.2 billion of investment in Glasgow

ALMOST 12,000 new jobs have been created over the last four years through the Invest Glasgow initiative, the city’s local authority has revealed.

Invest Glasgow is Glasgow City Council’s inward investment scheme. It offers business support and guidance to businesses and developers seeking to invest in the city.

Just under £1.2 billion of foreign direct investment has been attracted to Glasgow since the initiative was established in 2012. The council said that Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland and America are amongst the top investors.

Recent investments include that of JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley, who have both brought around 4,000 new jobs to the city. JP Morgan’s new office space on Argyle Street is set to open in 2022 and will allow for space for up to 2,700 employees.

The local authority said that attracting foreign direct investment is ‘crucial’ economically as it boosts Glasgow’s productivity, creates new jobs and encourages innovation and international trade. The city was recognised as the best large European city of the future for foreign direct investment strategy 2020/21.

In 2019/20, 3,619 jobs came to the city via foreign direct investment. However, since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, global flows of foreign direct investment are down by around 40% – with a forecast decrease of 5-10% over the course of 2021, before an expected recovery in 2022.

In response, the Scottish Government has launched a new inward investment plan which identifies nine key sectors that align well with Glasgow’s own priority sectors. The UK Government has created a new office for investment that will act as a shopfront to promote high-value and high-impact investment opportunities. SDI (Scottish Development International) is to focus resources on supporting the expansion of the top 50 existing investors and targeting the 50 leading global investors they aim to attract.

The council said that Invest Glasgow will collaborate with SDI on lead-generation strategies to create as many new investment opportunities as possible, given the decline in corporate site location visits and the cancellation of large real estate trade shows such as MIPIM as a result of the pandemic, leading to fewer enquiries and lower levels of investment.

Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council and convener for inclusive economic growth, said, “Our Invest Glasgow team continue – as these figures and rankings show – to do a fantastic job in attracting the type of investment that is a key part of our future economic growth. By adopting appropriate measures at this time, they can ensure that the city remains a leading destination for foreign direct investment from all over the world, with all the benefits this brings to Glasgow.”