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West Region economic review


Scottish Enterprise (SE) commissioned a series of economic reviews focusing on the functional economic geographies of the regions that form SE’s operating area: Aberdeen City and Shire, Dundee City Region, East Region, West Region and South of Scotland. The objectives of the review were to: review economic trends and performance since 1999; assess the potential contribution of each region to the Government Economic Strategy’s (GES’s) targets; and to assess the likely impact of the recession on each region. This report covers the local authority areas of Argyll and Bute, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire.


The GES’s seven purpose targets form the basis for assessing progress towards improving Scotland’s economic performance, and provide structure to the review. The review took the following approach: an examination of the global and national economic context; a review of recent economic trends and performance in the region; a comparison of performance with other regions; an assessment of the industrial structure of the region, including representation within key growth sectors; consideration of infrastructure and place issues; the performance of local authority areas within the region; and a final economic outlook for the region.


The review concludes that: economic growth in the region has lagged behind the Scottish and UK averages since 1999, and it is predicted that, although progress is expected, a significant gap will remain between GVA growth rates in the region and in the UK as a whole; GVA per employee is lower than both Scottish and UK averages; employment rates are lower than both Scottish and GB averages, but substantial improvements were made in the period 1999-2007; the gap between the region’s employment rate and the GB average is likely to remain at two per cent; economic inactivity and benefit dependency rates have decreased, but still lagged behind national averages before the recession; the region’s population has remained relatively stable since 1999 and is expected to remain so over the coming decade; median earnings are slightly lower than Scotland as a whole, and evidence of wide disparities in overall household income exists; employment rates have improved substantially since 1999 but several authorities are among the worst performing areas in Scotland; the region accounts for one third of Scotland’s CO2 emissions, but emissions per head are lower than Scottish and UK averages; the impact of the recession is predicted to be more severe than across Scotland, but less severe compared to the UK; and the region is expected to recover more slowly than the UK as a whole.


It was not within the remit of the review to make recommendations.

Author SLIMS; Oxford Economics
Published Year 2010
Report Type Research
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