The Government Economic Strategy outlined a commitment to establish four Enterprise Areas in Scotland as part of the process of creating a supportive business environment. These four Enterprise Areas, comprising 15 strategic sites are now open for business.
The creation of four Enterprise Areas will support our most dynamic industries to create new employment opportunities, stimulate private investment and boost growth.
The Enterprise Area policy will have a five year timescale from April 2012, therefore the locations designated as Enterprise Area sites are locations which present clear, realisable opportunities within this period. The incentives available at each location are designed to encourage businesses to bring forward investment decisions while also providing the support necessary to enable business start-ups to become established and to compete internationally, leveraging the human knowledge and natural resource advantages of each location, when the incentive period ends.
Each Enterprise Area has a clear sectoral focus. This is in line with the Government’s wider economic development strategy of supporting Scotland’s growth companies, growth sectors and growth markets. The sectoral focus will enable each Enterprise Area to target the businesses that can take maximum advantage of the natural resources and knowledge clusters which create the clear, realisable opportunities at each location.
The four Enterprise Areas are:
- Life Sciences
- Low Carbon / Renewables North
- Low Carbon / Renewables East
- General Manufacturing / Growth Sectors
Establishing two Low Carbon / Renewables Enterprise Areas will help support the transition to a low carbon economy while encouraging businesses in this sector to set up and grow in Scotland, therefore establishing early mover advantages in an emerging sector which offers strong growth opportunities domestically and internationally. Establishing such an early mover advantage will generate sustainable employment opportunities and act as a catalyst to attract further investment to Scottish locations which can be developed in the medium to long term.
There are also clear opportunities to stimulate the creation of high value adding jobs in the individual growth sector sites and life sciences sector which comprise the remaining two Enterprise Areas. Scotland is currently home to globally significant businesses in these sectors and can utilise the supply of skilled labour and the internationally renowned research of Scotland’s universities to build on this strong base.
This will increase the resilience of the Scottish economy by building an international competitive advantage across a diverse range of sectors. The sectoral focus will also create more opportunities to develop supply chain linkages to businesses locating within an Enterprise Area by increasing the number of businesses undertaking related activity which can be supplied. Through the development of these supply chain linkages the economic and employment benefits from the policy can be shared across the wider local and national economies and not restricted to just Enterprise Area sites.