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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 November, 2003, 07:47 GMT
Glasgow launches 'square kilometre'
The new financial district hopes to attract 20,000 jobs
The new financial district hopes to attract 20,000 jobs
Glasgow's "square kilometre" financial services zone has been given its UK launch at the London Stock Exchange.

The new purpose-build international financial services district (IFSD), which hopes to attract 20,000 jobs during a 10-year period, was promoted in London's square mile.

About 600m has been committed to the project which involves the development of more than two million square feet of office space.

Duncan Tannahill, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said the city has a skilled labour force, good links within Scotland and internationally, and now it would have the infrastructure that large financial companies require.

'Phenomenal growth'

He said: "Locating in Glasgow provides a cost base some 40% less than the south east of England, so there are very strong financial reasons for companies to come and access our skill pool."

He said that 2,000 jobs had been created in the area since the scheme began in 2001 and the target by 2011 was for 10 times that number.

A number of companies such as Esure, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan had already been attracted to the area, he said.

Amanda Harvie, chief executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise, said the financial services sector was crucial to the Scottish economy.

She added: "The sector has delivered phenomenal growth in recent years, outpacing Scottish economic growth by five times over the last five years.

Duncan Tannahill
Locating in Glasgow provides a cost base some 40% less than the south east of England.
Duncan Tannahill

"One in 10 jobs in Scotland relate to financial services. The long-term importance of the sector cannot be underestimated."

She said Glasgow would offer "top quality premises, top quality infrastructure and the best people".

The zone has been developed by a partnership including Scottish Enterprise Glasgow, Glasgow City Council, Scottish Development International, and Scottish Financial Enterprise.

Scotland's funds under management currently stand at just under 300bn and the financial services sector accounts for 8% of Scotland's GDP.

The central belt of Scotland is the second largest UK financial services centre outside of London and has particular strengths in banking, fund management, life assurance and pensions.

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