Economy Convener writes about Edinburgh's resilience in today's Times

A resilient economy that attracts new business is key to prosperity says Cllr Frank Ross, Economy Convener, in the Times Business Insight supplement today.

Link to Business Insight

This piece appears in Business Insight and Cllr Ross is also quoted in the Business Forum round table discussion.

Attracting new businesses to Edinburgh is critical if we are to ensure that Scotland’s capital remains the most prosperous UK city outside London. 

We are starting from a strong position as our economy is resilient and diverse. The number of jobs in the city has now recovered to above the pre-recession level. In the financial sector in 2008, 375 registered enterprises employed 36,000 people in Edinburgh and by the end of 2013, this had increased to 485 employing an estimated 40,000 people. 

And our ‘Strategy for Jobs’ has been implemented to support the creation or safeguarding of 20,000 jobs in the years to come. 

Twelve development sites have been identified in Edinburgh, which if transformed into exciting new ventures, could be worth up to £2.41bn with the potential to create 20,000 jobs.

International real estate events such as MIPIM and Expo REAL are well attended by thousands of potential investors from hundreds of countries and our attendance at them ensures investors are aware of the huge range of opportunities Edinburgh has to offer.

Our strategy in this field is award winning and for the last three years Edinburgh has been ranked top of its category in fDi magazine’s European Cities and Regions of the Future 2014/15 awards.

Of course when the big businesses arrive they often create a knock on effect and as they generate work for small to medium sized businesses and start ups.

At the Council we offer first class support through a one-stop-shop to all businesses in our headquarters. This integrates Business Gateway with other frontline services including planning, recruitment support and building standards.

Responding to a particular request for more flexible workspace, we have opened four incubator spaces. These include Entrepreneurial Spark in Edinburgh Park, and the Creative Exchange in Leith. To build on their successwe are also leading an "interspace" initiative to connect to other incubators in the city to help ensure that they are all used to full capacity and can feed of each other.

Finally, but importantly, we also have a huge responsibility to our help our young people into employment. Our Edinburgh Guarantee programme is hugely successful and spreading throughout the city where companies are pledging jobs, paid work experience, training, or mentoring and other support every day.

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