economyDespite the aftermath of the global recession, Westminster's austerity policy and the slump in global oil prices, Scotland's economy is buoyant - and, under the watch of the devolved Scottish Government shows signs of significant growth.

Every quarter, the Economic Research Team at Scottish Enterprise produce a mini-report (Scottish Key Facts) which provides a snapshot of Scotland's economy. Much of the information is based on historic values and previous reports, but, when they become available, the latest figures are included.

Most of the information included in this article is based on the February 2016 report. The various facts and figures are shown in a tabular form, but where appropriate (to make the information easier to understand at a glance) we have converted the data into pie charts and histograms and these appear alongside the original data for comparison.

The report highlights the 12 main sectors that contribute to Scotland's economy and gives a detailed breakdown of the current activity within each.

We will update the article when new data becomes available.

The original 'Key Facts' document can be downloaded from this link: Scottish Keyfacts - February 2016


Scotland - Some Basic Facts

General Statistics

Gross Domestic Product
(2015, Q2)
Total GDP growth on year
(2015, Q3)
GDP per Capita*
(2015, Q2)
Employment Rate (16-64)
Number in Employment
Unemployment Rate (16+)
Number Unemployed
Average Gross Weekly Wage (f/t)

Scotland Cartogram


Data Sources: latest data from Mid 2014 population estimation and Office for National Statistics. GDP Bulletin, Scottish Government Quarterly National Accounts Scotland (onshore figure)*, Labour Market briefing (Jan 2016)


Scotland's Population

City Region*

*City regions Aberdeen: Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire. Dundee: Dundee, Angus. Edinburgh: Edinburgh, East&West Midlothian, Fife&Borders. Glasgow: Glasgow, N&S Lanarkshire, E&W Dunbartonshire, E.Renfrew&Renfrewshire, Inverclyde. Inverness: Inverness, Highland. Perth: Perth, Perth&Kinross. Stirling: Stirling.

city populations


Data Sources: Mid-2012 Populations Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland (table 2A) and 2011 Census: First Results on Population and Household Estimates for Scotland - Release 1B


Sector Profiles

GDP at basic prices (GVA) £m
Business Services
Creative Industries (inc. Digital)
Energy (including Renewables)
Financial & Insurance
Food & Drink
Life Sciences
Spirits (including Whisky)
Tourism Related Industries


Sector Profiles


Data Sources: Scottish Government Growth Sector Database (Feb 2016), Regional GVA Income Approach (Dec 2015) (table 6). This survey does not cover certain sectors, The sectors here are defined as per Scottish Government sector definitions, which may differ from Scottish Enterprise Industry definitions.


Employment by Broad Industry Groups (Thousands)

Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing
Mining, Quarrying & Utilities
Motor Trades
Transport & Storage (inc. Postal)
Accommodation & Food Services
Information & Communication
Finance & Insurance
Professional, Scientific & Technical
Business Admin & Support Services
Public Administration



Employment by Group


Data Source: Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES), 2013 revised, Table 4 - Regional level employment (thousands) by BIG (public/private sector split).


Business in Scotland

  • The total number of private sector enterprises in Scotland was 361,345 at March 2015.

  • Between March 2014 and March 2015, the estimated number of enterprises increased by 7.8% (26,090 enterprises).

  • Large (250+ employees) enterprises accounted for 44.4% of private sector employment and 60.6% of private sector turnover.

  • As at March 2015, there were 359,050 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) operating in Scotland.

  • SMEs accounted for 99.4% of all private sector enterprises, accounting for 55.6% of private sector employment and 39.4% of private sector turnover.

  • Registered private sector enterprises with ultimate base outside Scotland (RUK based or abroad owned) represented 3.0% of enterprises, 34.1% of employment and 54.1% of turnover.

  • The two largest industry sectors were ‘Professional, Scientific & Technical Activities’ (53,450) and Construction (48,135). Together, these two sectors make up 28.1% of all private sector enterprises in Scotland.

Data Source: Business in Scotland 2015 (November 2015); Scottish Government



Scottish Business Enterprise R&D (BERD) expenditure was £905 million in 2014, which represented 0.64% of Scottish GDP in 2014 (comparable to 1.09% for the UK).

BERD expenditure in Scotland is dominated by the Manufacturing sector (£488 million), followed by the Services sector (£245 million) and then Other sectors (£172 million), such as Extractive industries.

The graph below shows how Scotland compares against other areas of the UK – in terms of BERD expenditure as a share of GDP.


Business Enterprise Research & Development (BERD) as % of GDP

United Kingdom
North East
North West
Yorkshire and Humber
East Midlands
West Midlands
South East
South West
Northern Ireland



Within the UK, a high share of BERD expenditure takes place within the South East (22.1%) and the East of England (21.2%) regions, which together are responsible for 43.3% of all R&D expenditure in the UK. In terms of expenditure as a percentage of GDP, Scotland ranked eighth out of the 12 UK regions/countries in 2014.

Scottish GERD, which comprises R&D undertaken by the Business (BERD), Higher Education (HERD), Government (GoveRD) and Private Non-Profit (PNP) sectors was £2,070 million in 2013, 7.2% of the UK total. In nominal terms, GERD increased by 7.9% between 2012 and 2013. In real terms this represents an increase of £111 million or 5.7%. GERD (excluding PNP) was 1.55% of Scottish GDP in 2013; this compares to 1.67% for the UK and 1.92% for the EU.

Data Source: Business Enterprise Research and Development Scotland 2014 (Dec 2015) Scottish Government and Gross Expenditure on Research and Development Scotland 2013 (Apr 2015)


International Exports

The total nominal value of Scotland’s International Exports (excluding Oil and Gas) decreased in the last year, falling by £920 million (3.2%) from £28.4 billion in 2013 to £27.5 billion in 2014.

Over the period from 2010 to 2014, international exports increased by £4.0 billion (17.3%), increasing from £23.4 billion in 2010 to £27.5 billion in 2014.


Top International Export Industries

Food and Drink
(of which Whisky)
Oil and Gas Supply Chain*
Professional Services
Petroleum and Chemicals

top export sectors


Top 5 Export Destinations

United States of America
The Netherlands

top 5 export destinations


International Exports by Region

European Union (28)
North America
Rest of Europe
Middle East
Central & South America



international exports



Data Sources: Export Statistics Scotland 2014, Scottish Government, Jan 2015, * Survey of International Activity in the Oil & Gas Sector 2013-14 (direct only international sales) HMRC.


Educationmoly med

  • Scotland has 19 autonomous Higher Education Institutions (HEI) – 17 of these are Universities (The SRUC and the Royal Conservatoire are not Universities but are classed as HEIs).

  • This diverse range of HEIs includes 14 campus based universities, one distance-learning university, an educational partnership institution based in the Highlands and Islands, one art school, a conservatoire and an agricultural college.

  • The Scottish Funding Council also funds 25 colleges.

  • In 2013-14 there were 279,495 students in higher education in Scotland. Compared to 2012-13, total student numbers rose by 750 (0.3%).

  • For Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) as a whole, the number of students fell slightly by 145 (or 0.06%) to 230,805 in 2013-14. The number of students participating in HE in colleges however rose by 895 (1.9%) in 2012-13 to 48,690 in 2013-14.

  • The number of Higher Education qualifiers from Scottish institutions has continued to rise, in the most recent year by 1.9% (1,765 qualifiers) to 97,340 which is the highest level recorded.

  • In 2013-14, there were 49,325 overseas students enrolled in HE courses at Scottish HEIs and Colleges representing an increase of 1,210 (or 2.5%) from 2012-13.

  • The majority (55.5% or 27,375) of those overseas students came from outwith Europe, with China (7,865 students), the United States (3,945), and Germany (2,560).

  • SFC invests around £1.6 billion in Scotland's colleges and universities for teaching and learning, research and other activities in support of Scottish government priorities.

  • SFC’s total funding in the academic year 2015/16 for universities will be £1.04bn*, and for colleges will be £530.3m**.

Data Sources: Higher Education Students and Qualifiers at Scottish Institutions 2013-14 - Mar 2015 (SFC); *Outcome Agreements for Universities Indicative Funding Decisions for AY 15-16 (SFC); **Outcome Agreements for Colleges Indicative Funding Decisions for AY 15-16 (SFC).


Chemical Sciencesmoly med

  • As one of Scotland's top exporters the chemical sciences sector makes a significant contribution to the economy.

  • International exports grew 27% between 2008-2013 to £3.8bn equivalent to 13.8% of international exports.

  • Turnover was 8.7bn in 2011 *

  • Over 12,330 people are employed directly in the industry base of 200+ companies supported by a steady flow of scientific and technical employees from Scottish universities, higher education institutions and further education colleges.

  • It is estimated that a total of 70,000 jobs in Scotland are dependent on the sector.

  • World-scale companies such as INEOS, MacFarlan Smith, FUJIFilm, CalaChem, BASF, GlaxoSmithKline and Syngenta have Scottish operations.

  • Chemical sciences research and development, focused on the development of new products and processes, accounts for 18 per cent of Scottish business R&D (including Pharma). This is supported by Scotland’s world class academic base and in particular ScotCHEM, the collaborative venture for the pooling and enhancement of resources for chemistry research in Scotland, bringing together the major players in research in chemical sciences.

  • The nationwide Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2014) determined that 80-95% of researchers in Scotland’s top chemistry departments, WestCHEM & EastCHEM collaborations, Heriot-Watt and Aberdeen, are classified as World class/Excellent.

  • Analysis by publisher Elsevier highlighted that Scotland has maintained a global top 3 spot in Chemical sciences research quality and output.

  • Industrial biotechnology is also an important growing area of activity for the sector both in terms of research and industrial base.

* Turnover and GVA figures for 2012 are being reassessed as a result of large company reclassifications/restructures, which follows a trend amongst multinational companies towards restructuring on an international basis. Such restructuring has caused companies to be classified under different sectors to those they have historically occupied, with movements from traditional production industries (in particular SIC 20 - Chemicals) towards wholesalers and toll processors (SIC 46 – Wholesale Trade)


Constructionhardhat and plans 300

  • The construction industry encompasses a wide range of sub sectors and specialism’s; from a supply chain of materials producers (timber, aggregates, cement/concrete etc), through component producers (mechanical/ electrical, building products and construction systems), major, minor and specialist contractors; to architecture/design/finance/project management/engineering knowledge.

  • In total, there are over 31,000 businesses, less than 3000 businesses employ more than 50 people, and only around 300/350 are of significant scale.

  • The Industry employs 170,000 people (10% of the total Scottish jobs) in the construction sector itself, and a further 38,000 people in its materials supply chain.

  • The construction industry delivers £21.4bn (9%) of Scotland’s GDP, and £8.7bn (10%) of Scotland’s GVA. Its supply chain delivers further significant GVA impact (e.g. the timber supply chain delivers a further £1.1bn)

  • Industry output “enables” a significant proportion of other industries’ to contribute to the economy (e.g. via road/rail, built environment, or specialist construction relating to energy, water, etc).

  • Frasers of Allander Institute stated in their latest commentary on Scotlands economy that Construction has been the key driver of growth in Scotland contributing +0.4% points, in direct contrast with the UK where it has acted as a drag.

  • GVA grew strongly by 6.1% according to the latest figures, this is 7.3% higher than pre-recession figures. It is believed this has been driven by the construction of the Forth Road Bridge with the CITB forecasting that Infrastructure contracting activity and value in Scotland may decrease dramatically from 2016 onwards. This will impact the sectors economic performance.

  • In Scotland around 60% of the industry’s turnover originates from the public sector in various forms (infrastructure, social housing, and public buildings).

  • The industry is spread throughout Scotland, with particular concentrations in the central belt and north east, but significant employment exists in all parts of Scotland, including all rural areas where these jobs are of particular significance and importance.

  • The industry’s dominant key market is the UK (with £1.1bn exported to the rest of the UK).

  • Scotland has an international reputation for Architecture and Design, Value Engineering and Project Management, and increasingly Low Carbon Products and Technologies, key markets include Western Europe; Middle East; USA/Canada, and Eastern Europe; these account for £80m of (non UK) exports, with significant potential for further future expansion in the medium term.

  • The built environment accounts for nearly 50% of all Scotland’s carbon/CO2 emissions, arising from a wide range of activities relating to the construction and operation of buildings (encompassing extraction and processing of raw materials, production & use of products & materials, site operations, as well as heating, lighting and running of buildings). In addition, the industry is responsible for around 40% of all waste to landfill. Sustainable construction/low carbon built environment are vitally important to the industry, to the Scottish economy and in delivering Scotland’s low carbon targets.

  • Business and public awareness and concern over rising energy costs, environmental, planning and building standards considerations, and initiatives such as Scotland’s low carbon targets and Green Deal will continue to demand increasing innovation in both products and systems – creating a competitive advantage in other UK and international markets.

  • Construction Scotland (the industry leadership group) has launched an industry led construction Innovation centre, which will focus and deliver HEI support/expertise and accelerate development of new construction products, systems and services by businesses. Innovation demand, supported by Scotland’s HEI construction expertise, will deliver significant competitive advantage. It is estimated that up to 14,000 businesses in Scotland are already involved in Low Carbon Built Environment activity. The new Construction Scotland website is now online.


Creative Industriescreative2 300

  • This sector makes an important contribution to the Scottish economy and employs 68,600 people

  • It contributes £3.7bn GVA with a turnover of £5.7bn in 2013.

  • Scotland has world class companies in all areas of the creative industries; from international leaders in games development and interactive platforms to national broadcasters and successful production companies.

  • Scotland has global centres of research excellence which develop next generation technologies to support ongoing growth in the digital media environment, and a well developed infrastructure to support company growth.

  • Scottish Enterprise’s key focus is on high growth digital media. It works with a Digital Media Industry Leadership Group and is in partnership with industry, government and the wider public sector.

  • Scottish Enterprise maintains close relationships with many key partners and stakeholders; the Technology Strategy Board, the Creative Industries Knowledge Transfer Network, Creative Scotland, trade bodies such as PACT, TIGA and Scottish Music Industry Association, the broadcasters BBC/STV/Channel 4, and management and leadership development organisation, TRC Media.

  • Scottish Enterprise also works with a number of academic institutions including Abertay University and Edinburgh’s School of Informatics.

  • Major projects include the ambitious Creative Clyde project which presents a unique opportunity to build on the achievements of the Pacific Quay, Clyde Waterfront and Digital Media Quarter projects to create a hub for one of the fastest growing sectors in the economy.

  • District 10 is an infrastructure project at Seabraes yard in Dundee that uses shipping containers to build affordable office accommodation aimed at early stage creative industry companies.

  • Interactive Scotland has been developed by Scottish Enterprise to drive growth in the sector and support the industry strategy across Scotland.


Technology and Engineeringtech1 300

  • This sector includes high-value manufacturing, advanced materials, software, electronics, sensors and photonics.

  • There are approximately 10,000 technology and engineering companies in Scotland employing 161,000 people in total.

  • Examples of leading companies in the sector include Rolls Royce, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Oracle, Alexander Dennis, Selex ES, Thales and Cirrus Logic.

  • Annually the sector generates turnover of £26.1bn, including exports of £8bn, contributing a gross value added (GVA) of £12.7bn to the Scottish economy.

  • Its highly skilled workforce produces £78,834 GVA per head, well above the Scottish average.

  • The capabilities of the sector are diverse but there are clusters around rugged engineering, data capture, real world interfaces and informatics: capabilities which also support the growth and development of Scotland’s other sectors.

  • Key application markets include oil and gas, renewable energy, aerospace, defence and marine. In addition, there is a strong focus on addressing new opportunities in digital health and care, sensor systems, big data and subsea engineering.

  • New Innovation Centres are connecting world-class academic research to industry, such as the Digital Health Institute, CENSIS for Sensor and Imaging Systems and the Data Lab for big data applications. These complement established facilities including the Advanced Forming Research Centre, part of the UK High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

  • The development of the sector is championed through the work of Scotland's Technology Advisory Group (TAG).


Aerospace, Defence and Marine (AD&M)typhoon 300

  • These three areas form a major cluster within the Technology and Engineering sector in Scotland involving around 750 companies and employing nearly 38,500 staff.

  • Scotland has a strong background in advanced engineering, including Research & Development (R&D), Design and Manufacturing.

  • AD&M is a key high technology sector, with an experienced skills base.

  • The Scottish AD&M sector includes a number of global industry companies, including defence companies such as SELEX-ES, Thales, Raytheon and BAE Systems and aerospace manufacturing and MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) companies such as Rolls-Royce, Spirit AeroSystems, GE Aviation, UTC, Woodward, Teledyne and Vector Aerospace. In addition there is a growing range of Scottish-owned companies in the aerospace and defence sectors, as well as world leading niche players in the Space industry, such as Clyde Space, Spire and Star Dundee.

  • AD&M sales in 2012 were over £5.5 billion.

  • The industry generates a GVA to the Scottish economy of around £1.8 billion.

  • Scotland’s Shipbuilding and ship repair sector represents over 40% of the UK industry and is focused primarily on the manufacture and support of naval ships and specialist, more complex vessels for niche markets, as well as being home to a thriving marine design community. The main companies are BAE Systems Maritime - Naval Ships and Babcock Marine.

  • Scotland's marine companies, which include a wide range of marine supply chain companies such as Rolls-Royce Marine and MacTaggart Scott, employ 22,000 people.

  • The Glasgow area also remains a leading world centre for commercial ship management and Scotland continues to be the main source of officers for the UK Merchant Navy.


Energy and Low Carbon Technologieswind solar 300

  • This sector incorporates oil and gas, thermal generation, renewables, environmental activity and the emerging low carbon industries.

  • The sector encompasses just over 3,580 businesses in 2013, of which around 2,000 are in oil and gas, ranging from multinationals, large Scottish global companies and a highly regarded SME base.

  • The sector remains a vital contributor to the Scottish economy.

  • 2013 estimates for energy in Scotland put the GVA for total energy at £23.1 billion.

  • In 2014, total UK expenditure in oil & gas reached £26.6 billion with capital expenditure reaching a record £14.8 billion.

  • Capital expenditure levels are expected to decrease in 2015 to £11.3 billion, with total expenditure predicted around £22 billion.

  • According to DECC, 70% of the UK’s energy will still come from Oil and Gas in 2030.

  • Scottish employment figures for oil and gas were revised recently and have been estimated at around 40-50% of UK oil & gas employment standing at 375,000.

  • Employment in Scotland’s renewable energy & low carbon sector was recently estimated at 21,000 full time employee's.

  • The number of companies active in each sub-sector is estimated at around 2,000 in oil and gas; over 200 in thermal generation, over 500 in renewables, and 600 in environmental and low carbon activity.

  • The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 sets a target of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a significant proportion of which will be met by decarbonising Scotland’s electricity supply.

  • The Scottish Government’s Routemap for Renewable Energy in Scotland sets ambitious goals to meet 100% of Scotland's own electricity demand from renewable resources by 2020 and to largely decarbonise the country’s electricity supply by 2030.

  • Scotland is making steady progress towards these goals and met 49.7% of its own electricity demand from renewables in 2014 (accounting for the fact that 23.7% of all electricity generated was exported).

  • The full breakdown of electricity generated in 2014 was: 38% renewables, 33.3% nuclear, 20.3% coal, 5.4% gas, 2.9% oil & other.

  • Investment in renewables was £1.045bn in 2014.

  • The Skills Investment Plan for Energy indicates there is likely to be demand for up to 40,000 jobs in renewable heat and electricity generation by 2020. Therefore, maintaining Scotland's oil and gas industry, boosting renewable energy and the application of low carbon technologies will make a significant and important contribution to a sustainable economy.


Financial and Business Servicesmoney pound notes 300

  • Financial and Business Services (F&BS) in Scotland employed a total of 226,500 in 2014, 86,300 in the Financial Services sector and 140,200 in the Business Services sector.

  • F&BS contributes to a number of drivers of economic growth including around £15bn in GVA to the economy, with Financial Services totalling £8.2bn (2012) and Business Services contributing £6.8bn (2013).

  • The Financial Services sector accounts for 5.4% of overseas exports.

  • Scotland is internationally recognised as the most complete financial centre in the UK outside London and the South East, and is recognised globally as an internationally competitive destination and attractive place for F&BS companies to locate and expand.

  • Many of the world’s leading financial services firms have operations in Scotland across each of the sub-sectors of the industry including:-

    • Asset Management and Servicing: (Aberdeen Asset Management, Blackrock, CitiGroup, BNP Paribas)

    • Banking: (Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland, Tesco Bank, Barclays and HSBC)

    • General Insurance: (Aviva, Direct Line, Esure),

    • Life and Pensions: (Aegon UK, Prudential Standard Life).


Food and Drinkscottish food 300

  • Taking the whole supply chain into account, from agriculture, fishing, aquaculture through to the manufacturing base, Scotland's food and drink sector makes a significant contribution to the economy in terms of employment (circa. 116,000 jobs), turnover (£14.3bn) and GVA (£5.3bn) – based on 2013 analysis.

  • The sector has experienced significant turnover growth in recent years, with an increase of 24% between 2008-2013.

  • The largest share of the sector’s turnover (74%) and GVA (74%) comes from food and drink manufacturing which enjoyed growth of 22% between 2008-2013 - twice the level of UK growth (11%).

  • Exports totalled £5.1bn in 2014, with drink exports continuing to account for the majority - 80% (by value) of Scotland’s total food and drink exports.

  • The latest statistics show that food exports have broken the £1.1bn barrier for the first time. This is encouraging news for the Scotland Food & Drink partnership which is supporting the industry's ambitions to sell a wider range of food products to more international markets - aiming to reach £7.1bn by 2017 and build Scotland's international reputation as a 'Land of Food & Drink'.

  • The Scotland Food & Drink Export Plan focuses the partnership's collective support on those markets which offer the greatest opportunity for Scotland and includes a team of in-market specialists in the 7 top prospect markets located across a number of SDI offices in North America, France, Germany, Middle East, Mainland China and Hong Kong, Japan and South East Asia (Singapore & Thailand).

  • The Scotland Food & Drink Export Partnership involves SDI, Scotland Food & Drink, Quality Meat Scotland, Seafood Scotland, Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, Scottish Bakers, and Scottish Government.


Forest and Timber Technologiesforester loading 300

  • This carbon-positive sector incorporates the growing of tree seedlings within nurseries to the planting, managing and harvesting of forests plus value-added downstream activities such as sawmilling, pulp and paper production, and panel and board manufacturing.

  • The sector also includes the development and production of higher value goods such as engineered sustainable construction products and businesses that serve the Energy and Tourism markets.

  • Half of the UK’s forests are in rural Scotland, covering 17% of Scotland’s land area (target 25% by 2050) and as a result, the sector supports many rural communities.

  • The sector consists of 1,700 businesses contributing £1bn in GVA to the Scottish economy (£771million from Forestry and Timber Processing and £183million from Forest Recreation and Tourism) employing around 25,000 people (19,555 in Forestry and Timber Processing and 6312 in Forest Recreation and Tourism).

  • Demand for good quality timber has recently increased according to a report from Bidwells. However 80% of our timber is imported, which has led to the suggestion that more landowners use land for commercial forestry.

  • A recent report from SAC Consulting also highlighted that the economic impact of forestry compared to farming is three times greater without subsidies.


Life Sciencesdrugs 300

  • Scotland is home to one of the most sizable clusters in Europe, with a significant international presence including Charles River Laboratories, Thermo Fisher, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Millipore, and ClinTec.

  • Latest Scottish Government figures for 2013 show company turnover in excess of £3.5 billion and GVA of £1.7 billion.

  • From 2010 to 2013 year-on-year growth (CAGR) was 5% for number of companies, 4% for industrial employment, 3% for turnover and 3% for GVA.

  • With about 650 organisations (ranging from Higher Education Institutions to companies), the sector employs some 35,000 (2013).

  • Scotland’s two stronger subsectors in terms of industrial employment and turnover are medical technologies and pharmaceutical services.

  • Scotland is also at the forefront of research in regenerative medicine, precision medicine and animal health.

  • There are a number of emerging areas where Scotland has been building strength including connected health, agritech (crop research, aquaculture) and industrial biotechnology.

  • A number of Scotland’s life science companies are also strengthening their local manufacturing base.

  • Edinburgh BioQuarter is a keystone investment at the heart of Scotland’s national life science strategy, bringing together public healthcare, academic research and extensive commercial laboratory space in one location to accelerate translational medicine and facilitate large scale life science collaborations.


TextilesHarris Tweed 300

  • The Scottish textile industry today is flexible, innovative and market driven - producing for fashion, interior and performance markets in over 150 countries.

  • Some of the world leaders in luxury and performance textiles are based in Scotland - taking advantage of niche and premium markets where Scottish product is considered to offer higher levels of both quality and authenticity.

  • Companies such as Bute Fabrics (interior fabric manufacturers for airports all over the world) and Mackintosh (manufacturers of world-renowned contemporary, rainwear) all choose Scotland.

  • There are over 500 textile companies in Scotland, employing nearly 9000 people and with textile exports valued at over £360m - the Scottish textile sector is worth £838m to the Scottish economy.


Tourismwelcometoscotland 300

  • Tourism is an important underpinning sector for the Scottish economy and in 2014 generated £4.7bn overnight visitor spend with an estimated further £4.7bn spent on leisure day trips by residents and attracted over 15m visitors.

  • Overseas tourists increased by 11% in 2014 and spent £1.84bn, 10% more than the year before emphasising the value in attracting these visitors.

  • Scotland’s top five international markets in terms of volume are USA, Germany, France, Australia and Netherlands.

  • The top five growth markets in terms of volume in 2014 were Sweden, Poland, Turkey, USA and Norway.

  • The sector makes a major contribution to employment levels across a wide range of occupations, age groups and skills sets with 196,000+ jobs supported by 13,960 tourism related businesses in Scotland which is 7.7% of Scottish employment.

  • Jobs in tourism are particularly important in non-urban communities where often as many as 15% of the population work in the sector.

  • The sector directly influences Scotland’s international profile and premium market image and provides major support to other key sectors such as Food and Drink, Retail, Transport and Construction.