Perth: unlocking potential of a fast growing city

Perth Mill QuarterScotland’s booming food and drink sector is fuelling growth across the country, but nowhere more so than in Perth, which with more than 1,000 food and drink companies, has quickly become a hub for the sector, leading technical innovation and offering opportunities for growth.

As part of the collaborative group representing Scottish Cities this week at MIPIM UK, the UK’s largest property investment conference, Perth is rolling out its dynamic offering to international investors from all over the world, and learning from others doing the same.

We are not alone – cities from across the UK, from Sheffield to Surrey and Leeds to Leicester are here showing off their wares to cash rich investors – including Rio Ferdinand!

One of the fastest growing cities in Scotland already, our aim is to increase Perth’s population by 25% before 2030 and that will take outside investment. Home to several growing corporations, there are opportunities for more, fuelling more jobs and more growth for the area.

Within an hour of the top research universities in Scotland, at the centre of the transport network, home to one of the highest percentages of graduates in the workforce and with an enviable quality of life to offer, we are confident that international investors will see what we see in Perth.

Perth leisureUnlocking investment potential in the city begins with transport, and we are working to improve both access to the city, and movement around the city for the growing population. Further to that, significant leisure (proposed Perth leisure centre, right), retail and accommodation projects are planned – to attract families that wish to join the Perth community.

The recently announced £30m Mill Quarter development (launch, top) also includes student accommodation, something which the city lacks, and which will be crucial to successful growth.

Collaboration can develop established sectors as well as emerging areas. By joining up food and drink companies with the emerging clean tech sector, we are creating innovation that attracts new business and investors alike.

With this in mind, one of our key targets this week is logistics companies – specialists in creating bespoke environments in which hi tech food and drink companies can not only process product, but develop their offering and add value to raw materials before sending them out into the wider market.

Additionally, we are meeting high-end hotel developers in a bid to attract a 4 or 5 star hotel to the centre of Perth and student accommodation providers who may be able to develop the new types of dwelling within the city centre that we aspire to.

We want investors to come to Perth. We want investors to come to Scotland. Working together is reaping rewards already, and this unique partnership between the private and public sector is, in turn, working for Scotland.

Serge Merone, Investment Manager for Perth & Kinross Council, is this week at MIPIM UK as part of the Scottish Cities Alliance.

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