With a population of 1.3 million people, representing 24% of the total in Scotland, the region contributes over £33bn of Gross Value Added (GVA) to the Scottish economy. This equates to 30% of the country’s output. The city region’s key strengths are knowledge, culture and technology.
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In a fast-changing world we will create a region where investment, intellect and culture will fuse to create new ways of doing things.

In the next 20 years the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region will become the most connected, creative, inclusive and entrepreneurial place in Europe. We will build a network of businesses, universities, technical and creative skills attracted by a great lifestyle and cultural offer.



The region has a strong and successful economy on which to build.
  • Economy – Edinburgh is the 2nd most prosperous city in the UK, with a GVA per head of over £38,000 (ONS: 2013).
  • 45.9% of the region’s working-age population is educated to degree or equivalent level. The UK rate is 35.8% (Annual Population Survey – 2014).
  • £281 per person in the region was spent on Research & Development in 2013. The average for Scotland was £150 (BERD, 2013).
  • Home to Skyscanner and FanDuel tech companies now valued at over $1bn each.


While the region is successful, there remains a number of issues that need to be addressed.


  • 2012 1,323,700
  • 2032 1,510,400 (projected)
  • under 16 - up 32,700
  • 16-64 - up 33,200
  • over 65 - up 121,000

National Records of Scotland

(2012-based projections)

  • 21% of children live in poverty
  • 24% of the region’s population lives in fuel poverty
  • 24% of the population live more than 1 hour’s commute from the centre of Edinburgh

HOW WOULD WE accelerate growth?

Build on our strengths in areas of knowledge, culture and technology through increased innovation across our finance, science, culture, leisure, tourism, learning and technology sectors. Example proposals include:

Develop a regional network of incubator facilities

Regional collaboration to expand overseas trade

Invest to protect and enhance the world famous culture and leisure assets in the region including the Edinburgh Festivals

Develop advanced digital technology to support business and culture

Taking greater control of decision making powers. For example, by:

  • Developing a clear and integrated regional infrastructure strategy with all public sector partners
  • Developing an integrated regional skills programme to increase opportunities for learning and development for everyone

Investing in infrastructure by establishing an infrastructure fund supported by both the UK and Scottish Governments

  • This would provide the means to accelerate growth and address the affordability barrier for local authority partners based on existing funding options
  • The impact on the economy will be widespread but a key focus is to improve productivity across the labour market, building on key assets and helping address inequality
We will deliver this by working in partnership with private sector and public organisations on key projects and initiatives.