Scotland’s older industrial areas are a substantial part of the country, home to perhaps as much as half the population. But plagued by years of job loss from mining and manufacturing they have often struggled. More than anywhere, perhaps, they should benefit from – and contribute positively towards – the economic rebalancing that is needed. They can only do so, however, if the right policy framework is in place.
Covering key policy concerns, the Industrial Communities Alliance has published an updated ten-point action plan:
Scotland’s industrial communities – the places once built on industries like coal, steel, shipbuilding, textiles and engineering – continue to lag behind in terms of prosperity and jobs. The recovery from recession is also proving slow.
Industrial communities are the heart and heritage of Scotland. But they have been deeply affected by recessions and economic restructuring. A range of economic, physical and social factors have contributed to long-term malaise such as poor jobs prospects, poor housing, low skills and health inequalities. The role of the Alliance is to ensure that these problems are highlighted and to make sure they are addressed by key players in Edinburgh, London and Brussels.
Halving the gap in output per head between London and Scotland would add 25% to Scotland’s GDP.
Cross-Party Group in the Scottish Parliament The Cross-Party group on Industrial Communities, in the Scottish Parliament, plays a key role in Alliance lobbying. It provides an effective channel of communication with MSPs and the Scottish Government involving regular dialogue with Scottish ministers.