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Glasgow Business . 11 Glasgow Clyde College

becomes Glasgow Chamber’s latest Platinum Partner 12

Economic recovery takes hold in Scotland

Economic recovery is beginning to take hold in Scotland, according to a number of surveys and reports. Bank of Scotland’s Chief Economist said, at the

time of going to press, that the pace of recovery in Scotland is “clearly quickening.” The bank’s monthly purchasing monitor showed

record growth in business activity and new work. Its PMI survey also found employment in

Scotland rising in August at the fastest rate since 2007, however, the pace of growth still remains below the rest of the UK. Figures from the Office of National Statistics

in August had shown that the number of Scots in work hit a four-year high between April and June. There was further

good news in research from Ernst & Young which predicted that Scottish exports would grow faster than those in the rest of the UK over the next four years. Some sectors of

the economy are doing particularly well:

Retail Scottish retailers enjoyed their best August in four years bolstering

confidence on the high street according to the monthly sales monitor from the Scottish Retail Consortium and accountants KPMG. Total sales in August rose by 3.5 per cent, well

ahead of inflation and making it the strongest outcome since 2009. The 3.4 per cent average growth rate means that Scotland’s retail upturn is now in line with the UK as a whole.

Food and Drink More than 5,600 extra jobs could be created in the food and drink sector by 2018, according to research from the Bank of Scotland. The research suggests the sector could “significantly exceed” an industry target of achieving annual turnover of £12.5 billion by 2017. Figures from

the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) show that exports grew in the first half of 2013 with demand rising in mature and emerging markets. The SWA said that the

value of exports grew

by 11 per cent to almost £2 billion, while the volume

of shipments was up nine percent on last year to more than 560 million bottles.

Chamber’s strong concern over parking price rise

Parking Glasgow Chamber of Commerce has expressed concern over a rise in city parking charges, which will see charge in some streets rise significantly. Stuart Patrick, Chief Executive of Glasgow

Chamber of Commerce, said: “Lots of our members are very concerned about increasing parking charges. “We understand that parking charges create

extra income for the city council, but we need to strike a balance between income and attracting people into the city centre. “Our members fear parking charges are rising too

far and that this will discourage people from coming into the city centre.” More than 50 streets in central Glasgow are

Baton journey marks business success

Glasgow company 4c Design won the tender to create the Queen’s Baton, the Commonwealth Games’ equivalent of the Olympic Torch. The baton – there is only one version in existence unlike the

Olympic Torch – began the 288-day relay covering 118,000 miles from Buckingham Palace on 9 October. The baton contains the Queen’s handwritten message to the

Commonwealth and made its first international port of call in India on 11 October. Over 248 days the baton will visit all the nations and territories of

the Commonwealth and will be the first baton ever to visit Rwanda. Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council,

said: “We are now getting closer and closer to the tantalising prospect of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.” Also, in the run up to the events, Scottish businesses are being

encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them by the 2014 Glasgow Games. A business toolkit has been launched recently to get businesses involved in the sporting events (see

affected by the increases, including the Gallowgate, London Road, Bridge Street, Port Dundas Road, Bell Street, Canal Street, Dobbies Loan and Glebe Street. The new tariff, which sees the cost of parking

for an hour rise from 50p to 80p, came into force in September. Mr Patrick said: “We need to encourage shoppers

to make the choice to come into the city centre. Our worry is that shoppers will continue to go elsewhere.” Mr Patrick and Glasgow Chamber colleagues

are working with City Council leaders over these concerns.

Focus on tourism

The drive to attract visitors to Glasgow and the potential knock-on benefits for other business sectors will be the subject of a Glasgow Talk on 25 October. Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of

VisitScotland, will outline the efforts to create a strong visitor economy and improve Scotland’s standing on the world stage.

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