Evaluating State-Sponsored Economic Development Models: Comparing Property-Led Initiatives in Lanarkshire, Scotland from 1990 to the Present

Sean M. McDonald, William Erskine Duff


The aim of this research is to critically assess the historical and long-term performance of government-supported initiatives in economic regeneration within urban regions, with specific reference to two contrasting development models adopted in Lanarkshire, Scotland during the 1990’s: The Lanarkshire Enterprise Zone and the Strathclyde Business Park. This will evaluate economic outcomes from two different policy approaches in the shared conurbation space. The first is an “Enterprise Zone” a concept that represents national and local policy support for economic development within a specific area and is driven by government policy and money. The second, a “Business Park,” generally refers to single-use employment location by corporations that has been created for a unique set of operations, is based within a geographic context and has evolved from predominantly office, research or industry focused development goals. In addition, business parks are typically located away from urban city centers and are privately funded although the land might be publicly held. These two forms of property-led economic development strategies are common throughout the world, from Scotland to China, South Africa to the Midwest of the United States, from inner city Detroit to Cambridge, Massachusetts. They are popular policy initiatives, especially in developing countries, yet we do not have enough research on how these two initiatives work and what explains their different outcomes/impacts in both the short and long-term. The research makes use of two detailed case studies and sets of primary data, analyzes their relationship with the Greater Glasgow conurbation thereby providing in-depth accounts of the development and performance of these projects and critically, their continued results. The development and performance of the initiatives in the development of both the regional economy and co-development to the nearby Greater Glasgow economy is considered within the context of institutional approaches to economic and urban geography. (McPherson and McDonald, 2005) The unique distinctions both the Lanarkshire Enterprise Zone and Strathclyde Business Park possessed which differentiated them from their peers, alongside their ultimate results, especially in context to their implementations in relation to their urban geography, will also be discussed. The comparison is especially valuable as both are in the same Scottish Region which composed the Greater Glasgow urban area, so the data will enable a true compare/contrast evaluation.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijrd.v10i2.21203


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