Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and the third highly populated in the United Kingdom. Sited on the River Clyde in West Central Scotland, it is one of Europe’s top twenty financial centres and is home to many of Scotland’s leading businesses.
The City has the largest economy in Scotland, and the third largest GDP in the UK (only surpassed by London and Edinburgh). There are more than 400,000 jobs in over 12,000 companies, and over 150,000 jobs have been created here since the year 2000 – a growth rate of over 30%. Many people – somewhere in the region of 50% of those residents in Greater Glasgow – choose to live in the Greater Glasgow area and commute into the city daily for work.
In the past Glasgow was known for its Shipbuilding and heavy engineering which were the primary industries in the area. Today, however, these have been in part at least replaced by a more diversified economy and jobs of all sorts are available here. Financial and business services, communications, healthcare, higher education, retail and tourism all take their places here now, and Glasgow is now the second most popular tourist destination in Scotland, and one of the top twenty largest financial centres in Europe.
A strong link to its manufacturing past has been retained however, and this accounts for over 50% of Scotland’s manufactured exports. Now along with shipbuilding and engineering however, are publishing, textiles printing and many other new growth sectors such as software development and biotechnology. A growing number of Blue Chip companies have operations in the City.
The City centre streets are based on a grid system similar to that of many cities in America making it very much easier than some Cities to navigate. The main Shopping Centres are Buchanan Galleries which houses some eighty shops and St Enoch Centre which is of similar size. As well as these, there are many upmarket department stores here as well as smaller retail outlets of all types. The City centre is also home to four of Glasgow’s higher education centres – The University of Strathclyde, The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow School of Art and Glasgow Caledonian University.
Blythswood Hill and Anderston to the western edge of the city centre are home to Glasgow’s financial district officially known as the International Financial Services District (IFSD). A large amount of growth in this area has enabled the IFSD gain a good reputation as a well-established accountancy services centre. An example of this is that of the top ten largest general insurance companies based in the UK, eight of these have either their head office or an established base here.