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Introduction to Local Economic Development: Challenging Times for Scotland’s Towns

CPD Course delivered by EDAS and Prof Alan McGregor, University of Glasgow


March 27, 2019 at 9.30am – 3.30pm


Architecture + Design Scotland, Bakehouse Close, Edinburgh


£150 + VAT, email to reserve your place. Booking includes the course and materials, CPD certificate/points, also one year’s membership of the Economic Development Association Scotland.

Under the circumstances of key trends impacting on the economy – Brexit, digitalisation, low growth/low productivity and demographic change – it is challenging for people involved in Scotland’s Towns and local economic development to work out what’s best to be done. Uncertainty casts a heavy cloud over local and regional economies. However, this simply means that professionals need to be more up to speed with what is going on and how best to respond.

This one-day course on Challenging Times for Scotland’s Towns is designed for Business Improvement District Managers, Chairs, Local Authority liaison officers and other sector professionals as an introduction to local economic development through the lens of towns and city districts. It will cover key policies and strategies, and institutional arrangements, relevant to the Scottish town and urban district setting. There will also be consideration to some of the underlying economic issues and key drivers in relation to maximising potential of businesses, people and places.

Booking for this workshop also comes with one year’s membership of EDAS, alongside a CPD certificate and points from the Institute for Economic Development.



9.30                         Coffee/tea on arrival

10.00                       Purpose of the Day, Phil Prentice

10.05                       Key Economic and Social Trends, Prof Alan McGregor

11.15                       Policies and Strategies

12.30                       Lunch

1.15                         Institutions and Processes

2.30                         Open Forum: Doing Better for Our Towns

3.25                         Closing Remarks

3.30                         Close


About Prof Alan McGregor

Alan McGregor is Professor of Economic Development in the Adam Smith Business School at the University of Glasgow. Although working in an academic environment for most of his career, he has always placed considerable emphasis on research with applications for policy and practice. He has worked for a range of public bodies including community-based initiatives, local authorities, sub-regional and city-regional bodies throughout the UK, national agencies across the UK, the Scottish Government and its agencies, and for the European Commission between 2011 and 2016 advising on the evaluation of the European Social Fund across all 28 member states.

Coming from a background in labour economics, he has researched a wide variety of local economic development and inclusion issues, and carried out many hundreds of evaluations of projects, programmes and policies.  Much of his work relates to the development of strategies and action plans to achieve better outcomes at the local, sub-regional and national levels.

Alan was born and brought up in Ayr, but on occasional visits to the town has not been able to summon the psychological strength walk down to the bottom of Ayr High Street for at least 10 years, since it entered into a period of ‘renaissance’. He remains very committed to Ayrshire. He is vice-chair of the North Ayrshire Economic Development and Regeneration Board, and has worked pro bono on aspects of the Ayrshire Growth Deal. He is also a founder member of the board of the Ayr United Football Academy.