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Appeal to politicians

Sixty leaders call for united effort to boost capital

Edinburgh United: Ian Marchant and Liz McAreavey

More than 60 organisations from across Edinburgh have called on the Scottish Government and city council to work with them to help accelerate the capital’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

The Edinburgh Business Resilience Group includes lawyers, industrialists, travel operators and arts bodies.

The group has been brought together by Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and has published a 32-page Prospectus for Growth outlining its case.

Among its suggestions are the appointment of a “Business Champion”, simplification of the planning and licensing processes, and a more “enlightened” approach to business taxes.

Veteran energy industrialist Ian Marchant said: “Edinburgh’s efforts at recovery cannot become a Tale of Two Cities – our own divided narrative between long-term political aspirations and the present day needs of businesses and organisations who will be expected to create the jobs and opportunities of the future.

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“Do we work together, or do we labour apart? Do we simply talk, or are we prepared to listen? Is it to be the best of times, or the worst of times? Do we want the spring of hope, or the winter of despair?”

The former chief executive at Perth-based utility giant SSE, added: “As we continue to emerge from the pandemic through the success of the vaccination rollout the economy must now be the top priority for our policy leaders.

“We can work with local and national government to deliver a better, stronger recovery.  But we need them to listen and we need them to engage.”

Liz McAreavey, chief executive of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are now seeking engagement with the Scottish Government, the UK Government and City of Edinburgh Council to see how we might work most productively together to deliver what is best for the city.”

The move comes days after Daily Business revealed that another group of marketing, events and tourism leaders are attempting to launch a replacement for the defunct Marketing Edinburgh agency which operated at arms-length from the city council and was closed down following a deep cut to its budget.

The ideas being put forward by the EBRG are under three themes of Recovery, Growth, and Edinburgh as a Global City and include:

Recovery

  • Accelerate return-to-work plans and revise social distancing when safe
  • Support for businesses in tackling debt levels that will stifle investment
  • Adopt a more enlightened, transactional approach to business taxation
  • Increase investment in skills and R&D

Growth

  • Create “Edinburgh Means Business” – joint venture involving key stakeholders to help promote and sell the city and, vitally, help to develop and land inward investment
  • Appoint a “Business Champion” for the City to work with the city council and Government
  • Create more diverse business ownership through shared strategy to develop entrepreneurial talent from under-represented groups and areas
  • Simplify and streamline robust planning and licensing processes to encourage more people to do business in Edinburgh
  • Encourage businesses to support our festivals and culture

Global City

  • Do more to promote  the city’s ambition to be Data Capital of Europe and enhance our reputation for innovation
  • Better recognise the contribution of our tourism, culture, festivals and events sector to the city’s economy, quality of life and global reputation
  • Develop a comprehensive aviation strategy – Edinburgh needs to remain a global city, and our airport remains a pillar of international trade and the gateway to the rest of Scotland
  • Develop a world-class digital infrastructure
  • Create a shared and coherent branding strategy for the city

EBRG members

• Alba Arete
* Anderson Strathern
• Arcadis
• Bank of Scotland
• Charlotte Street Partners

• City Region Deal
• ClearWater Hygiene
• Crosswind Developments

• DDI Skills Gateway
• Deloitte
• Dentons
• Developing the Young Workforce
• Drumainn
• Dunelm Energy
• East Coast Trains
• Edinburgh Airport
• Edinburgh College
• Edinburgh Festival Fringe

• Edinburgh International Festival
• Edinburgh Tattoo
• Edinburgh Tourism Action Group
• Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations Council
• Essential Edinburgh
• Eventit
• ExecSpace
• Festivals Edinburgh
• Fintech Scotland
• First Scotland East

• Forth Ports

• G1 Group
• Harvey Nichols
• Heriot-Watt University

• Intercontinental Hotels Group
* Kimpton and Plaza
• Jacobs

• Leonardo
• Lloyds Banking Group
• LNER
• LS Productions
• Lyceum Theatre
• Murray Estates
• Natural Ketosis
• Novotel
• Openreach
• Phoenix Group
• Playfair Scotland
• Puzzlefit Consulting
• PwC
• Queen Margaret University

• RBS
• Royal Botanic Gardens
• Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland
• Royal Lyceum Theatre
• Royal Zoological Society of Scotland
• Scottish Widows
• SFE
• SP Energy Networks

• Stagecoach

• St. James’ Quarter Edinburgh

• The Glenmorangie Company

• University of Edinburgh

• Vittoria Group
• Waldorf Astoria
• Waverley Mall

• Zen Consultants



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