ormer prime minister Gordon Brown will use a conference in Glasgow to claim the city has the makings of an “economic superpower”.
With speakers including Lord Sainsbury, CBI director-general Tony Danker and Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken, the conference will lay out a report published on Friday which says “the road out of the current economic and inflationary crisis and back to growth runs through Glasgow”.
The report said Scotland’s biggest city “has most of the ingredients” needed for a “thriving and prosperous economy”.
Mr Brown is expected to tell attendees on Friday: “Today’s conference will focus on how we turn the Greater Glasgow region into an economic superpower.
“There is no doubt it can happen: the people of Glasgow are supremely well-equipped to make this city region shine as one of the key economic areas in the UK outside London.
“We need to focus on those sectors capable of the greatest growth, connect up better with other cities and regions across the UK, and get more power at a local city level to deliver.”
The report – published by Mr Brown’s think tank Our Scottish Future – said the city’s positives are currently not equating to economic and social prosperity, with some of the worst poverty in the country recorded in Glasgow and wages matching that of other cities.
Increased devolution, the think tank concluded, could benefit the Greater Glasgow area, allowing for better connectivity with other “centres of capital, skills and innovation”, adding: “Greater initiative could get more done more quickly.”
The report highlighted the powers to bring derelict buildings back into use as one such option which could help improve the city’s performance.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We agree that Glasgow is well placed to capitalise on its many strengths – and Scotland already outperforms the rest of the UK in attracting investment in new and existing markets such as life sciences because of the quality of our workforce, university research, infrastructure and commitment to innovation.
“However, those huge strengths are being badly undermined by the impact of Brexit.
“With the full powers of independence, as a member state of the EU, it would be possible to build on Scotland’s already strong investment performance and further strengthen our approach to attracting future investment.”