Vibrant places are dynamic places, rich in entrepreneurialism and innovation, where new products and services are created and where skills and knowledge abound.
They provide the people that live and work in them with a sense of opportunity. They are places that will drive future growth. In measuring this, our index takes into account the business formation rate, skills and qualifications from GCSEs to degrees, research and development and patents granted.
With the exception of three areas (Aberdeen, Dundee and South Ayrshire – ranking two, four and eight respectively), dynamism and opportunity is focused in East Central Scotland and West Central Scotland (see map 1). Within this, there is a clear corridor of dynamism emerging across the Lothian region, with Edinburgh (ranking one) and East Lothian, Midlothian and West Lothian (ranking three, five and seven respectively). There are also strong clusters of dynamism and opportunity around Renfrewshire and Glasgow (ranking six and ten respectively) and strengths – albeit less pronounced – around Fife, Stirling and Perth & Kinross (ranking nine, 11 and 13 respectively). The presence of higher education plays an important role in determining these rankings as it drives a range of factors reflected in this basket of measures, such as innovation, research and development and entrepreneurship.
Map 1 - How areas of Scotland perform against the Vibrant Economy Index dynamism and opportunity indicators
The lower performing areas on this basket of measures tend to be the more rural and peripheral geographies in the Highlands and South Scotland. For some of these places, low performance is an issue of connectivity, but it can also be one of aspiration and opportunity.