City Deal projects to make Glasgow and Clyde Valley a leader in innovation

The £1.13billion Glasgow City Region City Deal will not only deliver tens of thousands of jobs and massive infrastructural improvements over the next few decades, but also continue the city-region’s rise as a leader in innovative industries such as life sciences, advanced design and manufacturing and new technologies.

A key aim of the Glasgow City Region City Deal is the creation of innovation and growth through the support of these key industries. 

There are three innovation hubs in Glasgow and the Clyde Valley supported by this City Deal: the Centre for Business Incubation and Development in the Tontine building in Glasgow’s Merchant City; the University of Glasgow’s Imaging Centre of Excellence, based at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital campus; and Medicity Scotland in Newhouse, North Lanarkshire.  

The £4million Centre for Business Incubation and Development will support high-growth companies in the enabling technology, advanced design and manufacturing, and creative economy sectors, with between 5 – 20 employees.  The Tontine Building beside Glasgow Cross will host high-quality and flexible workspaces for these companies, with a focus on those sectors which link with the city’s universities – to maximise cross-fertilisation between growing companies in the city and major multi-nationals and research programmes situated close by.

Over the next five years, it is expected that 134 businesses will be supported at the centre, with each increasing their staff numbers by at least four per business.  This will result in the creation of 536 new jobs resulting in an increased turnover of £53.6m over the term of the programme.

The University of Glasgow’s Imaging Centre of Excellence (ICE), which is supported by £16m of government funding through the Medical Research Council as part of the Glasgow City Region City Deal, is expected to open in early 2017. Based at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital campus, the ICE will house state-of-the-art technology to enable scientists to conduct clinical research using advanced imaging.

The ICE will house state-of-the-art technology, much of which will be unique in the UK, to enable University of Glasgow clinicians and scientists to conduct new clinical research. The ground floor of the building will accommodate a £7million 7 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner. The 7 Tesla MRI scanner is an ultra-high resolution scanner which will allow the development of advanced diagnostic imaging methodologies for use in stroke, brain imaging, cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases. 

An independent analysis of the ICE’s economic impact concluded that the gross value added to the local economy over the next decade is likely to total around £65million and it will create more than 200 new jobs for local people.

Alongside University of Glasgow researchers, corporate partners represented on site will include a range of large companies and SMEs in the diagnostics and medical imaging fields. The building will also accommodate clinical academic imaging specialists and clinical physics experts. 

MediCity Scotland is a dedicated medical technology incubation facility based at Biocity Scotland Ltd.  The £4.6million facility will bring together academics, entrepreneurs, clinicians and business support services to assist the development of new healthcare services and medical technology.

Facts & Figures

A total of 11,000 square feet of office space and incubation workspace has been constructed through the refurbishment of a vacant building at the BioCity campus. This state-of-the-art facility is a physical hub for new and existing medical technology and healthcare businesses in Scotland and will be a focus for expertise in the sector, addressing identified sectoral market failure.  

The facility aims to support up to 150 new med-tech jobs by 2021, develop links between the commercial and academic communities and showcase Scotland to inward investment opportunities in this growing field.  In addition, over the next five years MediCity Scotland is expected to deliver: 20 workshops / development programmes / events; provision of dedicated support for up to 80 med-tech companies; leveraging up to £5.6million of additional investment from supported companies; the creation of 19 new companies; the generation of 150 new jobs; and the launch of 40 products. 

Councillor Frank McAveety, Chair of the Glasgow City Region City Deal Cabinet, said: “These world-class innovation centres will make Glasgow and the Clyde Valley a leader in these fields, and show that the City Deal will deliver more than just massive infrastructure schemes as it helps to transforms the area’s economy over the next 20 years.  The investment we are making in these exciting innovation projects will create new jobs and expertise in the key sectors that will deliver sustainable future economic growth.”


Both the UK and Scottish Governments will give the Glasgow and Clyde Valley local authorities £500million in grant funding for this City Deal, and the eight local authorities will borrow a further £130million to use for capital investment. 

The City Deal is expected to give the Glasgow city-region a permanent uplift in its GVA of £2.2billion per annum (4.4%); generate 15,000 construction jobs during the construction period and 28,000 permanent additional jobs once construction is complete; and will unlock £3.3billion of private sector investment.

The eight local authorities participating in the Glasgow City Region City Deal are: East Dunbartonshire Council; East Renfrewshire Council; Glasgow City Council; Inverclyde Council; North Lanarkshire Council; Renfrewshire Council; South Lanarkshire Council and West Dunbartonshire Council. 

Glasgow has recently been shortlisted for the title of European Capital of Innovation, alongside cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris and Vienna.

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