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‘The hard work starts immediately’: New government advisory council to lead Scotland’s economic recovery

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes

A new government advisory council will help kick-start a “bold and ambitious” economic recovery from coronavirus, says Scotland’s finance secretary.

Chaired by Kate Forbes, the advisory council will include a number of business leaders, academics and economists from across Scotland who will help shape a 10-year strategy to help the country recover economically from the coronavirus pandemic, and transition to a net zero economy.

Advisory council to play “crucial role” in economic recovery from coronavirus

Ms Forbes said: “As we emerge from the pandemic, we must work together to seize Scotland’s potential and build an economy for everyone by delivering greater, greener and fairer prosperity.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes

“The pandemic has led to fundamental shifts in sectors such as retail, and changed the way many businesses operate with more online trading and remote working.

“We need to build on these innovations and guide our economy to the industries and opportunities of the future.

“Our 10 year national strategy for economic transformation will utilise the expertise of business, trade unions and economists to deliver a focused plan of actions and projects to help transform our economy and help us reach net zero.

“I want to thank the members of the council for agreeing to play such a crucial role in the development of our bold and ambitious 10-year economic strategy.

“Starting work to deliver this key strategy was a 100-day commitment of this Scottish Government and I am delighted we have been able to secure the support of so many leading experts.”

Leading business experts and academics to lead Scotland’s economic recovery

The 17 members and Ms Forbes will now meet over the coming weeks to discuss the best way for Scotland to recover from the pandemic.

It is hoped all the members of the advisory council will be able to draw on their experience and industry contacts to bring forward “bold” ideas to transform the economy.

The council includes:

·       Maggie McGinlay, CEO of Energy Transition Zone

·       Lynne Cadenhead, chair of Women’s Enterprise Scotland

·       Chris van der Kuyl, founder and chairman of 4J Studios

·       Sean McGrath, CEO of entrepreneurial Scotland

·       Dame Sharon White, chair of John Lewis Partnership

·       Mark Logan, tech expert

·       Nick MacPherson, former permanent secretary to the Treasury

·       Sir Anton Muscatelli, principal of Glasgow University

·       Roz Foyer, general secretary of Scottish Trades Unions Congress

·       Professor Graeme Roy, dean of external engagement at Glasgow University

·       Jackie Brierton, CEO of GrowBiz

Jackie Brierton, chief executive of Growbiz

·       Councillor John Alexander, chair of Scottish Cities Alliance and leader of Dundee City Council

·       Mark Blyth, director of the William R Rhodes Centre for International Economics and Finance at Brown University

·       Mariana Mazzucato, professor in the economics of innovation and public value at University College London and founder of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose

·       Emma Parton, founder of Highland Soap Company

Councillor John Alexander said the work of this new council will benefit communities across Scotland by bringing “real economic change”.

He said: “I’m delighted to join the Scottish Government Economic Advisory Council, alongside some of Scotland’s leading economic lights.

Councillor John Alexander, leader of Dundee City Council

“We all know how important Scotland’s economic strategy will be post-Covid.

“Ensuring that we are adapting, innovating and delivering real economic change and improvement, which benefits our communities is the focus.

Kate Forbes warns businesses still need ‘hard cash’ support as furlough is cut

“We need to look at the emerging and long term challenges for our economy, address issues of skill gaps and training and support sectors of growth which will assist Scotland and deliver real economic prosperity.

“We have good local examples but it’s how we scale those up and deliver for every community that is most important.

“The hard work starts immediately.”

Maggie McGinlay, CEO of Energy Transition Zone in Aberdeen, added: “The Energy Transition Zone is an important and exciting project that will reposition the north east of Scotland as a globally recognised integrated energy cluster and play a key role in supporting economic recovery and transformation.

Maggie McGinlay

“I am therefore delighted to be appointed to the new advisory council and will take the opportunity to highlight the importance of energy transition for Scotland in terms of delivering sustainable jobs and growth as well as contributing significantly to the net zero ambition.”

Public to have their say on economic recovery strategy

Members of the public are also being encouraged to share their views, suggestions and opinions on economic transformation to help the new advisory council.

Export slump threatens to put the brakes on Scottish economic recovery

Ms Forbes added: “To ensure this strategy delivers the transformational change Scotland needs, this must be a national endeavour and so we want to hear directly from businesses, workers and stakeholders from across the country.

“This is an innovation to the entrepreneurs, thinkers and job creators to join our national endeavour and work with us to make Scotland thrive.”

Those wishing to share their views can email before 27 August.