Update on Edinburgh’s Economic Strategy from Councillor Frank Ross
Things continue to look up in Edinburgh and we are making excellent progress towards our Strategy for Jobs. I invite you to watch our new short film, which shows, through case studies, how the strategy is working to create and retain jobs across the city.
In our City Centre, the Edinburgh 12 continues to demonstrate effective partnership working between the Council and the development community. Working with Artisan, developers of New Waverley, we have formed a collaborative group which will work with the local community to consider projects which will further enhance the attractiveness of the development to residents, businesses and visitors. With a potential pot of £200,000 available, possibilities range from public realm enhancements to public art.
On investment promotion, we have launched a new digital Edinburgh Hotel Prospectus 2015 in partnership with Scottish Development International. This highlights the current strength of the tourism market in the capital and the potential for future hotel development and investment. The app, which is fully interactive and has been designed for tablets and desktops, will be updated every quarter and can be viewed at www.investinedinburgh.com. You can also download the digital app via the Apple app Store ‘EdinHotelProsp’ or via the Google Play app Store ‘ EdinHotelProsp2015’.
Our local businesses have been performing very well too, with over 1,000 new Start-Up businesses and over 600 Growth companies supported between April 2014 and the end of February 2015.
The tremendously successful Open Innovation Project, funded through the Interreg IVB North West Europe Programme has come to an end. The €10m project, led by the City of Edinburgh Council, worked collaboratively to promote economic growth and innovation by encouraging businesses, communities and universities to adopt more open and collaborative approaches to innovation. Outputs recorded by the project since its launch in 2010 include:
- 170 new enterprises and 265 jobs created;
- 223 new products and processes developed;
- 1,227 organisations with improved innovation capacity.
It is welcoming to see levels of unemployment in the city back to pre-recession levels, which at 1.9% (JSA Claimants, February 2015) is also below the Scottish and UK average. To help build on this, the Council and its partners are re-shaping our Integrated Employability Hub Service to meet the more intense support needs for the longer term unemployed who have multiple barriers to progression. We are also keen to embed robust referral protocols with specialist services to ease the employability journey for customers.