Author: Stewart Carruth, CEO, Stirling Council
11 Jun 2015
A vibrant and cosmopolitan city located in the heart of Scotland, Stirling has bold plans to grow its diverse and expanding economy, and position itself as a world-class business location and a great place to live and work.
At Stirling Council, we are working closely with the business community and our many partners to realise this ambitious vision for Stirling’s economy, marketing the area’s unique advantages, advancing investment opportunities and encouraging diversification and growth.
Over the past decade, Stirling has experienced a higher rate of growth in business than Scotland as a whole
Our revitalised economic strategy includes aspirational activities to support new business startups, faster growth of successful businesses, the attraction of inward investment, and international business development in both the city and our thriving rural communities.
We have established a City Commission to support delivery of an ambitious investment plan and development framework, designed to stimulate growth and reposition Stirling as an economic and cultural powerhouse.
We have also created the £500,000 Stirling Business Investment Fund, to help small and medium-sized businesses to improve their competitiveness, access new markets and create high-value employment.
Stirling sits at the hub of Scotland’s transport network, with the country’s two major international airports only 30 minutes away, making it the ideal choice for both domestic and international markets. Over half of Scotland’s population lives within an hour’s travel, providing a skilled workforce and customer base. Scotland’s largest deep-sea container port is just 15 miles away at Grangemouth. The area also offers an exceptional quality of life. The ancient capital of Scotland, its historic setting, stunning scenery, and vibrant cultural opportunities make it an ideal tourist destination. The tourism industry accounts for almost £430m in revenue.
Stirling’s population of 91,000 is a highly skilled one, and Stirling residents are more qualified than the Scottish average, with a third in possession of HND or degree-level qualifications. Stirling also boasts a highly entrepreneurial culture, where the 11 percent self-employment rate again outstrips the Scottish average, and the talent pool is one that is constantly refuelled. Forth Valley College recently opened a new £29m state-of-the-art campus in the city, and, as one of Scotland’s most outstanding educational institutions, Stirling University has an international student base of around 9,500 students.
Over the past decade, Stirling has experienced a higher rate of growth in business than Scotland as a whole. The city’s diverse business profile boasts around 4,000 businesses employing approximately 35,000 people. Big names who’ve all chosen to make Stirling their home include Prudential, Capita, Falcon Food Services, Graham’s Family Dairies and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). Key sectors include finance, business, environment, life sciences, software development and hospitality, hosted in Stirling’s varied business park settings, from Forthside in the heart of the city to Castle Business Park adjacent to the M9 motorway. Springkerse and Stirling University Innovation Park provide an ideal base for modern, cutting-edge businesses, as well more traditional industrial and manufacturing enterprises, in what is a highly competitive location for both startups and established business growth.
Our existing business base demonstrates Stirling’s ability to grow and attract thriving, high-value investment from the UK and overseas. Our vision is to build on that solid base by investing in bolder infrastructure plans, skills development, business support and rural development. This is an exciting time for Stirling. We are extremely proud of what we have to offer, open to opportunities, and ambitious for the future.
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