Stirling city centre is continuing to thrive and drive economic growth in the area, according to a new report.

An update on the Council’s City Centre Economic Action Plan was yesterday (13 Feb) presented to the Finance and Economy Committee.

Delivered in a partnership approach, the plan has focused on three key themes:
* Economy
* Infrastructure
* City Centre Safety.

Its economic highlights include:
  • A commercial unit vacancy of seven per cent in the city centre which is below the Scottish and UK average
  • The excellent progress of the City Fibre project, which will bring world-class digital connectivity to residents and business, with Stirling on course to become the first completed Gigabit City in the UK this summer
  • Positive economic impact due to Stirling’s growing reputation as a key events location, hosting events such as the Stirling Scottish Marathon, Bloody Scotland and the Under Canvas music event in August.
Among the city centre infrastructure achievements are:
  • The development of a range of city transport projects, which over the coming years could see investment in excess of £10million,  improving conditions and accessibility for local residents, businesses and visitors
  • The ongoing upgrade of a range of community, cultural and residential buildings and public areas within the historic city centre. These include the feature lighting on Baker Street Gardens and the investment in public buildings to meet the principles of a dementia-friendly city.

There has also been a focus on enhancing the safety of the city centre, via schemes such as Operation Steadfast, an initiative led by Police Scotland and the Council, with support from local business and partner agencies.

This collaborative project has a proven track record of success, including in the latest instalment of the operation over the festive period.

Stirling’s economic vibrancy and growth

Convener of Stirling Council’s Finance and Economy Committee, Cllr Margaret Brisley said: “A vibrant and successful Stirling city centre is vital to the health of the local economy, which is a key Council priority, so I’m thrilled at this positive report.

“It’s particularly pleasing to see the low commercial vacancy rate in the city centre, which compares favourably with the Scottish and UK average, and is tangible evidence of Stirling’s economic vibrancy and growth.

“By collaborating with traders and businesses, and adopting the same partnership approach, we can succeed in continuing to promote inclusive and sustainable growth across all our communities.”

After considering and commenting on the report, members agreed that a revised city centre action plan be brought back for a future meeting of the committee in September 2020.

A strong position to respond to changing trends

Vice Convener of the Committee, Cllr Alison Laurie said: “It’s hugely encouraging to see the positive progress of a wide variety of projects in the city centre, ensuring Stirling is in a strong position to respond to changing trends on the high street.

“These include the ground-breaking City Fibre project, which will prove transformational to residents and business in Stirling; the improved active travel network, and investment in public buildings to make Stirling a dementia-friendly city.

“A lot of fantastic work has gone on to put the city centre in this strong position and the revised plan will allow us to build on this in coming years.” 

Background info and picture details: 

* Steadfast pic shows Council officers, Police Scotland Officers and other partner organisations at the festive launch of the festive phase of Operation Steadfast in November 2019.
* City Fibre pic shows Stirling Council Leader, Scott Farmer and Elaine Doherty, City Fibre’s City Development Manager at the launch of the scheme in 2018.
* Bloody Scotland pic shows the award winners at last year’s event in the city.
* Hogmanay pic shows a sell-out crowd watching the fireworks display at Stirling’s Hogmanay 2019.