Delegates at the EDAS/SLAED economic development conference

Tackling economic challenges at joint conference


Brexit, City Region Deals and budget challenges were among the topics under discussion at the first joint conference of EDAS (Economic Development Association Scotland) and SLAED (Scottish Local Authorities Economic Development) in December.


Under the theme ‘Leading economic development – from national to local’, the conference brought together over 100 professionals from across the public, private and third sectors to discuss how national strategic aims are delivered locally to maximum impact.


Will Hutton, Principal of Hertford College, University of Oxford and a leading economist, gave the keynote address about the challenges facing the UK and Scottish economies. He warned of a period of turbulence ahead, together with transformation technological change.


Speakers also included Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Business, Innovation and Strategy, who addressed the audience on how local and national can align to deliver inclusive growth.


Both EDAS and SLAED published major documents prior to the conference. The 2015-16 Indicators Framework from SLAED shows the contribution of local authorities to local and national outcomes. A summary of the headline findings is below. EDAS’ Route Map of Common Ambition contains messages on innovation, internationalisation, skills and collaboration.


Headline figures from the SLAED Indicators Framework report 2015-16, showing council's economic development inputs, outputs and outcomes.


A Storify summary of the event, with links to all presentations and workshop materials, is now available at