City Centre Recovery Task Force: report

Co-produced with the Scottish Cities Alliance, this report sets out the specific impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on city centres, and identifies the immediate priorities to support city centre recovery.


by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy

Our seven cities play a central role in driving Scotland's economic growth. At their heart, city centres are hubs for business, people, and activity. The very density and interconnectedness that makes them thrive, however, also meant that the Covid pandemic's impact on them was profound. And the very particular nature of that impact on city centres required a focused response.

In 2021, the Scottish Government and Scotland's seven cities established a Task Force to identify the actions we needed to take together to support city centre recovery from the effects of the pandemic, working through our existing successful partnership of the Scottish Cities Alliance. I would like to particularly thank the range of experts and representatives from the private and third sectors, whose voices and feedback were so crucial in developing the findings you see here.

This report sets out the areas and the actions that we, as the Task Force, jointly agreed to prioritise. It outlines the steps we have already taken to deliver these priorities, and the structures we have put in place to continue that work beyond the immediate horizon. In February of 2022, the Scottish Government announced £6 million of funding for the City Centre Recovery Fund to put this report's findings into practice; and that work is taking place now, in all of our cities.

If our cities thrive, then Scotland thrives. They are fundamental to our achieving the vision for a wellbeing economy set out in the Scottish Government's 10-year National Strategy for Economic Transformation as we rebuild after Covid. I know that our city centres can, and will, be the vibrant, connected, healthy and safe places that we need them to be for a sustainable, resilient recovery.

Kate Forbes MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy



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