West Central Scotland faces a number of challenges. Of the nine local authority areas in the region, only one – East Dunbartonshire – ranks in the top 20% nationally, whereas four rank in the bottom 20%.
Looking across the different baskets of measures, there are prosperous hubs within the region: Glasgow ranks three overall, North Lanarkshire four and Renfrewshire six. However, there are also widespread and significant inter-generational challenges around inclusion and equality (with six areas ranking below the national average) and health, wellbeing and happiness (with four areas ranking below the national average). On these two baskets of measures, however, East Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire stand out, both ranking in the top five for both baskets.
Map 1 - How West Central Scotland perform against the Vibrant Economy Index
Challenges are also apparent in relation to the community, trust and belonging basket of measures where only one area – East Dunbartonshire – ranks above the national average. Four rank in the bottom 20% nationally. The same is true – albeit less pronounced – for dynamism and opportunity, with over half the areas in the region ranking below the national average and only one – Renfrewshire – in the top 20% nationally.
The multivariate nature of challenges across this region underline the importance of joined-up local leadership and appropriate investment in infrastructure, skills and the region’s industrial structure.