The chief executive of Angus Council has admitted the local authority should have done more to attract businesses into the county’s high streets.
Richard Stiff said the council had “not been as effective as we should have been” in ensuring the vibrancy of the main shopping areas across Angus pledged it would do more in the future.
The comments were prompted by a question from Carnoustie councillor Bill Bowles at a meeting of the scrutiny and audit committee.
Mr Bowles said: “My particular emphasis as a councillor is on the economic development of Angus. Where are we in relation to attracting not international markets such as China, but domestic companies such as Boots and Costa?
“We need to be speaking to these companies and find out what we need to do to attract these businesses into Angus. Angus is open for business and we need to develop our high streets and economy.”
Mr Stiff said a number of strategies were being pursued to attract big companies into the region, including a new Business Angus website. He added: “Looking back, we have not been as effective as we should have been in addressing the domestic market and, in particular, ensuring the vibrancy of our high streets by attracting into Angus the types of businesses the councillor has referred to.
“We have taken a number of steps to address that.
“We have just launched a website which provides would-be inward investors with information about our county, about the assets the county can bring to the table, in terms of an inward investor seeking property, seeking a skilled workforce and seeking access to support and advice about location.
“In essence, what we are trying to do is move forward from a situation where, in the crudest of terms, we waited for companies to come to us. We want to reverse that scenario and be more proactive in promoting the assets Angus possesses.”