In 2010, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce recommended the establishment of an independent commission to review Glasgow’s economic development strategy – ‘A Step Change for Glasgow’. Launched, in 2006 A Step Change for Glasgow’ was appropriately ambitious, given the economic climate at the time; however 2 years into the strategy in 2008, the global economy experienced two powerful shocks: the deepest international financial crisis since the Depression in the 1930’s and a severe commodity-price spike. Scotland, like most other developed economies, was not immune to the impacts of the global downturn and nor was Glasgow. As such, the Glasgow Economic Commission (2010) was tasked to identify opportunities to growth the Glasgow economy and employment and attract investment into the city.
The Commission established a comprehensive programme to assess the current performance and future potential of the Glasgow economy. It commissioned a new evidence base analysis of Glasgow’s economic performance over the past decade including its performance relative to other large UK metropolitan cities. It established four, industry-led work streams; it sought wider views via a formal Call for Evidence; and it drew together – for the first time – an economic impact analysis of Glasgow’s College and University / higher education sectors prepared by Scotland’s leading independent economic modelling unit, the Fraser of Allander Institute.
Glasgow Economic Commission published its Final Report & Recommendations in July 2011 and its 29 Recommendations are the basis of the work being pursued the Glasgow Economic Leadership and its industry-led key sector work streams (Low Carbon Industries; Engineering; Life Sciences; Financial & Business Services; Tourism; and, Higher & further Education).