Perth requires a major transformation to ensure its success in the future. Currently, Perth is struggling to attract and retain people aged 20- 30. Perth must address this critical challenge so that the city is viable and sustainable moving into the future. Alarmingly, start-up growth in Perth has also been declining. There is a lack of young entrepreneurial activity within the city and limited space for this to occur.
Perth’s location at the centre of Scotland is an ideal, affordable alternative to Glasgow and Edinburgh for young creative entrepreneurs. It is also centrally located to be a destination for others within Perthshire. Perth is ripe to capitalize on these strengths to become a mid-sized creative hub for budding entrepreneurs. Additionally, Scotland’s unique position in the Brexit debate could make Perth more desirable than similar sized English towns.
Our key strategy question is:
How can we entice young creative entrepreneurs to live, work, stay and play in Perth?
Approaching this question requires an analytical understanding of Perth’s socio-economic condition. This report explores the historical context before examining the property market and employment statistics of Perth. A SWOT analysis of the two study areas is also conducted and the planning framework discusses the Perth and Kinross LDP, Perth City LDP, Scotland’s Economic Strategy and other economic initiatives. The creative context in Perth is interrogated, revealing the current institutions, existing facilities, current development and creative industries that call Perth home.
To gauge a realistic development approach, an exploration of successful case studies are presented, highlighting the potential of building creative ecosystems with attention to space, economic growth and people.
From this analysis, a strategy is formed to address the key challenge of enticing young creative entrepreneurs to live, work, stay and play in Perth.
Through the redefining of blocks, accessibility enhancements and retention of buildings that positively contribute to the character of the area, this strategy takes a holistic approach to what young creatives need to build a sustainable creative community.
We begin our strategy by drawing on the current strengths of the area around Mill Street. Mill Street is the main cultural hub within Perth and boasts several cultural centres that can be utilised to attract people into the city. This cultural hub is a key focal point within the city, attracting high footfall due to its attractive and accessible nature, and people drawn to the arts.
The Lower East Side of Perth does not have this same quality and has become an economically depressed area within the city. By revealing the potential of this area, we promote this to be an ideal location for development to attract creative entrepreneurs to live, work, stay and play.
The aims of the strategy are:
- Provide space for young, creative entrepreneurs to live and work in Perth.
- Create a sustainable creative community which engages and empowers young entrepreneurs and locals.
- Improve quality of life in the new district by prioritising pedestrian and bicycle movement.
From increasing connectivity, retaining buildings that enhance the character of the area, and incentivising reinvestment into the creative entrepreneurial sector, among others, this strategy is a sustainable step to ensuring Perth is an inviting city for young creatives.