Promoting a prosperous, inclusive and sustainable economy


We live in fairer Perth & Kinross which promotes inclusive economic growth and a thriving economy.

What we are doing

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We have a Local Development Plan which recognises that Perth & Kinross is an attractive place to live and identifies how our area needs to be further developed in order to make it a great place to do business too.

Together with our partners and the private sector, we are investing in infrastructure, digital, business and skills, cultural and sporting events and festivals to build a vibrant economy within Perth & Kinross. We have made a capital investment of around half a billion pounds in infrastructure support, which seeks to attract new business and employment opportunities and make Perth one of Europe’s great small cities.

We are developing, with our neighbouring councils, a comprehensive economic strategy to address inequalities and deliver a more prosperous and fairer future for our communities.  The Tay Cities

Deal will see investment up to £1.83 billion across the Tay Cities region.

Business Gateway and Growbiz are examples of where we continue to support business start-ups across the region.

Our Bid for UK City of Culture 2021 has been a catalyst to help us grow our creative industries. Through the Innovation Hub at the new ‘Creative Exchange Perth’ we will be supporting the development of our Creative and Cultural Industries to support and strengthen the cultural tourism offer and generate economic benefits for Perth & Kinross. We are also making a £53 million capital investment in the redesign and development of City Hall, Perth Museum and Art Gallery, St Paul’s Church, and transformation of Perth Theatre.  We are working hard to bring the Stone of Destiny to Perth and firmly establish Perth & Kinross as a vibrant and exciting tourist destination.

Perth and Kinross employers and education sector professionals are working together, to help improve skills and boost employment opportunities for our young people through the Developing the Young Workforce initiative.

The following represents the outlook for the areas key business sectors:

Cultural and creative industries (including cultural tourism, museums, crafts, performing arts, film/TV, and gaming) are now major growth sectors, recognised as such in the UK Government Industry Strategy and the Scottish Government Economic Strategy.  Perth and Kinross already has a strong tourism sector, and its cultural assets are significant, so we are well placed to capitalise on this growth potential.

High value engineering – Building on our strengths as a centre of excellence for Aviation Engineering and host to high value companies such as Vector Aerospace and Merlin ERD, we will support innovation in high value jobs through the Tay Eco-Valley initiative and knowledge transfer from Perth College UHI, via a new Aviation Engineering Academy incubating new and growing businesses.

There is potential to grow the area’s renewable energy sector   in terms of wind, hydro and biomass; and also for clean technology in waste management or eco innovation, which in turn assists economic growth and employment across the region.

Food and Drink is a key employer in Perth and Kinross and continues to evolve and grow with products that are as diverse as honey, gin, whisky and soft fruits.  Encouraging the production and export of locally grown produce will support growth within the food and drink sector.

Tourism is experiencing growth and we are investing in developing the area to ensure sustainable growth and future success in this area.

The local construction industry will benefit from the investment in Capital Infrastructure and residential development which will be on-going for the next 5 years.  As our fourth largest employer, the sector is now working with employability partners, to upskill local people to take advantage of employment growth in this area.

Perth and Kinross is currently performing better than national averages in respect of retail footfall and vacant properties – and there is current evidence of untapped resident expenditure.  However the retail sector has been significantly impacted by the shift to on-line shopping.  Support for independents, niche and alternative non-retail based strategies focused on residential, leisure, the night time economy and cultural offerings are required, in order to regenerate our centres.  The ideal mix will be more independent shops, residential, leisure and cultural spaces.

Local businesses which export Agriculture / Farming goods are experiencing growth due to the drop in the value of the pound.  However, this is unlikely to continue as increased costs and inflation take hold.  Further consideration of the impact of Brexit on this, and other sectors, will be required.

What’s next and what difference will it make?

As a partnership we have identified the following priorities to create a prosperous, inclusive and sustainable economy within Perth & Kinross. These are:-

1. To grow businesses and bring new investment and higher value jobs to Perth and Kinross.


We will set the conditions for new investment from home grown businesses and inward investors, such as the Food and Drink Park in Perth. This will bring higher paid job opportunities for people across Perth and Kinross. We shall work together to promote the Invest in Perth brand showcasing Perth & Kinross as a vibrant and viable place to live, work and invest. The Strategic Development Plan identifies areas for investment. We will deliver the Rural Perth and Kinross LEADER Local Development Strategy (2014-2020).

By 2018/19 there will be:

  • £170k of loan funding provided to small and medium sized enterprises in Perth and Kinross through Business Loans Scotland.
  • The delivery of our Clean Technology, Renewables and Circular Economy action plan.
  • The opening of the Creative Exchange Perth, providing workshops, business support and growth services to creative enterprises.

By 2020/2021 there will be:-

  • Business Gateway supporting 240 businesses to start up each year in Perth and Kinross.
  • A growth in Events and Festivals which deliver an economic impact of £25.5 million per annum.

By 2027/2028 there will be:-

  • The creation of 100 higher value jobs in the area through Invest in Perth each year.
  • A growth which will see at least 7% of all food and drink sector employment in Scotland based in Perth and Kinross.
  • An increase in the value of tourism by 20% to £555 million.

2. To improve the public realm and infrastructure, and transform our cultural offer, to ensure that Perthshire remains an attractive place to live, work and invest.


We shall deliver on our transport and infrastructure commitments within the Perth City Plan to improve accessibility and physical connectivity, and ensure that people and businesses are connected digitally by delivering the Smart City plan. This will include innovative projects such as intelligent street lighting, smart waste and travel options.

We will build on the momentum and commitment created by the City of Culture 2021 bid to promote economic growth in culture and creative industry, and showcase Perth and Kinross as a vital and vibrant tourist destination. We shall continue to invest in our cultural offer and through our ambitious capital programme we will deliver a new cultural attraction in the City Hall, a transformed Perth Theatre, and an improved Perth Museum and Art Gallery. Talented and innovative people will be attracted to the area by a rich cultural and events programme.

By 2018/19 there will be:

  • 90% of premises connected to superfast broadband.
  • Free public Wi-Fi in Perth City.
  • An improvement in CCTV to make people in Perth feel safer.
  • Intelligent street lighting used to reduce our energy consumption.
  • Completion of the A9/A85 link road, to significantly reduce traffic congestion, and open up land for economic development.
  • A redeveloped Perth Theatre and a new artistic programme.

By 2020/2021 there will be:-

  • Superfast Broadband available to all premises across the area.
  • Improved cycling and walking routes into Perth City Centre.
  • A low carbon hub at Broxden with alternative fuel logistics.
  • An innovation programme and Digital Knowledge Hub.

A Creative Cities network across Scotland and Northern England, which would provide a strategic policy forum focused on developing new thinking and joint working on building flourishing rural economies.

By 2027/2028 there will be:-

  • Improved connectivity through better rail links and quicker journey times.
  • An integrated bus / rail interchange in Perth Centre.
  • The Cross Tay Link Road will be completed.
  • The revitalisation of Perth Harbour as an economic hub.
  • An effective housing land supply capable of delivering 1,000 homes per annum.
  • 600 more affordable homes built.
  • 20 hectares of new employment land available for development each year.
  • Investment of £100m in school estate through rebuilding and refurbishing programmes.
  • The completion of the current £500 million Capital Programme.

3. To deliver new investment to the Tay Cities Region.


We shall work with our partners to deliver a cohesive and ambitious economic strategy for the Tay Cities region; as well as the programmes, projects and initiatives within the Tay Cities Deal which will create new opportunities for innovation, business, culture and leisure – with £1.8 billion of planned investment, and creation of 15,000 jobs for the Tay Cities region.

By 2018/19 there will be:

  • Agreed Heads of Terms with Scottish and UK Government.
  • Approved business cases for all major projects.

By 2020/2021 there will be:-

  • 50 individual projects in development.

By 2027/2028 there will be:

  • New opportunities for innovation, business, culture and leisure, and investment of £1.83 billion to the Tay Cities region delivered through projects under the Tay Cities deal.

4. To develop our workforce; support people to develop new skills, to enter and advance in employment, retain and attract young people into the area..


Through our Developing the Young Workforce Perth and Kinross partnership, we will help businesses to support young people to stop leaving the area, by continuing to provide school and university leaver training and work opportunities.
With the support of the European Social Fund Employability Programmes , we shall develop and deliver more employability and social inclusion initiatives to provide opportunities for those who experience barriers to accessing or sustaining employment or who are in low paid jobs. We will address fair work issues, highlighted by the Fairness Commission. We shall continue to explore additional funding opportunities and through the Tay Cities deal we will work with our partners to deliver sustainable Regional Economic and Employability Strategies that allow cross area working and open up more types of employment opportunities.

By 2018/19 there will be:

  • Continuing rates of high employment in Perth and Kinross.
  • 635 individuals accessing tailored employability support per annum and 400 will move into work.
  • More young people staying in the area with good employment prospects.

By 2020/2021 there will be:-

  • Three sector skills academies delivered each year in Construction, Tourism and Care.
  • Entry level employment opportunities for local young people in culture, heritage and tourism.
  • An increase in wage rates in Perth & Kinross, to bring them in line with the Scottish average.


Delivery Group

The Economy and Lifelong Learning Group aims to build a prosperous, inclusive and sustainable economy, one that is centred on educated, responsible and informed citizens who are ready to do their part to shape it.

Perth City Development Board oversees the Perth City Plan aimed at making Perth a great small city

Tay Cities Region Joint Committee is a collaborative programme aimed at bringing investment to the Tayside region

Third Sector ForumPerth City Development Board

The Perth & Kinross Social Enterprise Network (PKSEN) was established in June 2015. Any Social Enterprise in Perth and Kinross can join this network. There are 17 social enterprises in the PKSEN, from a range of sectors and areas in the region.

The Perth and Kinross Employability Network seeks to improve employability services for young people and adults with additional challenges and barriers to work (disabilities, illness or a history of offending).

Rural Perth and Kinross LEADER Local Action Group  is a development programme which aims to support individuals, organisations and communities in rural Perth and Kinross to be stronger, more confident and inclusive to lead or contribute to local economic and community development.

Performance and Data

Perth and Kinross Economic Journal is a quarterly electronic publication on the state of the local economy.

Skills Development Scotland data  gives a snapshot of key data and labour market information.

Office for National Statistics: Labour Market Data give free access to the most detailed and up-to-date UK labour market statistics from official sources.


Developing Young Workforce aims to help employers shape their future workforce.

European Social Fund Employability Programmes: Following an investment of over £5.6 million from the Scottish Government, Perth and Kinross Community Planning Partnership is calling for projects to assist the unemployed of Perth and Kinross to gain sustainable employment via a 5 stage Enhanced Employability Pipeline.

The Local Development Plan is a statutory document that guides all future development and use of land.

Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth & Kinross Council will work together with our Community Planning Partners to achieve the Tay Cities Deal.

Invest in Perth gives information about the area.

Rural Perth and Kinross LEADER Local Development Strategy

The Perth City Plan sets out the Perth City Development Board’s aspirations and a framework for action by the public and private sector to grow the city of Perth and its economy.


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