Scottish cities punch economically above their weight


By a Newsnet reporter

The SNP has welcomed news that Scottish cities are punching above their weight in relation to what businesses contribute to the UK economy per head of population.

Edinburgh tops the list – with £34,950 of Gross Value Added per head (GVA) in 2009 – of English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish cities.  The findings show that Edinburgh contributes even more to the UK economy per head of population than London, the city which is traditionally considered the powerhouse of the UK economy.

Other Scottish success stories include Glasgow.  Despite an image often associated with poverty and deprivation, the city came fourth in the UK in terms of its contribution to the UK economy, at £29,472 per head of GVA.  

Aberdeen was also a winner, being the only city in the UK to grow its economy during the recession.  It is the third Scottish city to figure in the list.  Aberdeen saw a rise of 1.1% in GVA, rising from £28,442 to £28,731 in the year to 1 January, 2010.  The list demonstrates that three out of the top ten cities in the UK in terms of their contribution to the UK economy are in Scotland.

The SNP has hailed the figures as giving backing to the economic case for an independent Scotland.  Jim Eadie, SNP MSP for Edinburgh Southern said this was an excellent example of how versatile and robust businesses in Scotland are, even in hardest of economic times.

Mr Eadie said:

“This is evidence of Edinburgh’s ability to adapt to changing economic conditions and is a credit to the people who live and work here.

“Scotland has three cities in the UK’s top ten and stands out as the highest performing nation which gives yet more credence to the belief that an independent Scotland would have an economically stronger starting point than the UK as a whole.

“This news along with the locating of the Green Investment Bank here in the city are reasons for optimism and I am confident this will lead to more companies emerging and investing in Scotland’s capital.”

Kevin Stewart, SNP MSP for Aberdeen Central said:

“Aberdeen remains internationally recognised for North Sea exploration and oil services and is the key city for the oil and gas industry in the British Isles.

“These figures show a remarkable achievement whereby we actually increased our GVA during the worst depths of the global recession.

“Aberdeen – with a trillion pound asset just off its shore – is important to the UK but would be far greater benefit both to itself and the people of its country in an independent Scotland.”