Appendix 16 Offshore Socio-economics and Tourism – Baseline Environment
16.1 Desktop Study
- An initial desk-based review of literature and data sources to support this Offshore EIA Scoping Report has identified a number of baseline datasets in the form of both pre-existing, non- Proposed Development specific datasets. Information on population within the socio-economics study area and the regional socio-economics study area will be collected through a detailed desktop review of existing studies and datasets. Key reports and datasets include, but are not limited to:
- A review of East Lothian tourism for 2018 (Scottish Tourism Alliance, 2019);
- Scotland’s Labour Market: People, Places and Regions Annual Population Survey 2019 (Scottish Government, 2020);
- Mid-2020 Population Estimates Scotland (National Records of Scotland, 2020);
- Business Register and Employment Survey (ONS, 2020);
- Regional gross value added (balanced) by industry (ONS, 2021);
- Scotland’s Marine Economic Statistics (Scottish Government, 2018); and
Scottish Marine Recreation & Tourism Survey (Scottish Government, 2015).
Site-specific Survey Data
- No site-specific surveys have been undertaken to inform the Offshore EIA Scoping Report for socio-economics and tourism and will not be undertaken to support the development of the Offshore EIAR. This is because sufficient secondary data is available for the development of a baseline from which the potential impacts can be assessed.
- Site-specific Survey Data
16.3 Baseline Characterisation
- While the Proposed Development occurs offshore, the socio-economic impacts and those associated with recreation value will also occur onshore. The socio-economic and tourism baseline environment will provide an overview of the following topic areas within the onshore and offshore environment:
- employment and economic activity;
- productivity and GVA;
- skills and education;
- house prices
- transport and commuting; and
tourism and leisure.
- Based on a review of the associated socio-economic baseline developed to support the assessment of impacts associated with Seagreen Alpha/Bravo (Seagreen Wind Energy, 2018), the majority of the open coastline between Aberdeen and Eyemouth is sparsely populated with major population centres present within the Firths of Forth and Tay (Dundee and Edinburgh).
- An overview of the population counts and demographic structure of the coastal settlements within the Regional Study Area are presented in Apx. Table 16. 1 Open ▸ . In mid-2020, the median age across the local authorities within the Regional Study Area ranged from 36.7 years of age in the City of Edinburgh, to 47.4 years of age in Angus (National Records of Scotland, 2020). The percentage of the population in the working age group varied from 61% of the population of Angus and Perth and Kinross, to 71% of the City of Edinburgh. These percentage contributions were also reflected within the pensionable age demographics, with the City of Edinburgh having the lowest total percentage within the pensionable age category (14%) compared to the highest in Perth & Kinross and Angus (23%) (National Records of Scotland, 2020).
- Socio-Economics Overview
Apx. Table 16. 1: Estimated Mid-2020 Population of the Coastal Settlements Associated with the Regional Study Area (National Records of Scotland, 2020)
- A review of Scotland’s labour market (Scottish Government, 2020) suggests that in 2019 there was a record high level of employment across Scotland, with a total of 2,663,900 people (aged 16 and over) in employment with an employment rate (16 to 64) of 74.8%. Further, the second highest employment rate across Scotland was in Perth and Kinross with 83.4% employment. Comparatively, the lowest employment rate across Scotland was observed in Dundee City with an employment rate of 68.6%. (Scottish Government, 2020). Across Scotland, the employment rate has increased in 28 local authorities and decreased in 4 over the past ten years. Young people (16 to 24 years old) make up a comparatively high concentration of the workforce in the accommodation and food services, and wholesale, retail, repair of vehicles sectors. Meanwhile, workers aged 50 and over make up a comparatively high concentration of the workforce in the agriculture, forestry and fishing and transport and storage sectors (Scottish Government, 2020).
- The renewable energy sector has grown steadily in Scotland over the past few years, with an annual capacity increase of 880 MW since the end of 2009 (Scottish Renewables, 2021). Renewable energy output in Scotland was £5,649 million in 2019, of which £889 million was related to the offshore wind sector (Scottish Renewables, 2021). In relation to renewable sector construction, £9,258 million GVA was recorded in 2019 for Scotland (Office for National Statistic, 2021). A survey in 2017 suggest that around 17,700 full-time employees in the Scottish renewable energy sector, of which 3,400 were within the offshore wind segment (Office for National Statistics, 2019).
- GVA is a key indicator used to measure economic performance. Total GVA in the UK is £1,820 billion, and in Scotland is £138 billion. Annual GVA growth of 3.6% and 3.2% has been recorded in the UK and Scotland, respectively (Office for National Statistics, 2018). The GVA per head in the UK was estimated at £27,555 compared to £25,485 in Scotland (Office for National Statistics, 2018). Statistics on GVA per head provide an overview of the value added by production activity in an area to the resident population of that area. However, these stats can be subject to distortion due to the effects of commuting and variations in the age distribution of the population.
- In 2016, approximately 30% of Scotland’s GVA was generated in its two largest cities: Glasgow (£41.37 billion or 15.2%) and Edinburgh (£19.94 billion or 14.9%). The GVA data for the other local authorities included within the socio-economics and tourism Regional Study Area are presented in Apx. Table 16. 2 Open ▸ . The percentage of total Scottish GVA in these local authorities ranges from 1.1% (Midlothian) to 14.9% (City of Edinburgh), with GVA per head ranging from £16,790 in Midlothian to £46,151 in Aberdeen City (The Scottish Parliament, 2018). The percentage of total Scottish GVA for the Local Authorities within Local Socio-Economics Study Area ranges from 1.3% (East Lothian) to 5.6% (Fife) (Apx. Table 16. 2 Open ▸ ).
Apx. Table 16. 2: 2016 GVA Statistics for the Local Authorities within the Socio-Economics and Tourism Regional Study Area (The Scottish Parliament, 2018)
16.2.2 Tourism Overview
- Due to the offshore nature of the Proposed Development boundary, it is unlikely to support recreational or tourism activities. The western boundary of the Proposed Development Array Area is approximately 33.5 km from the nearest coastline and approximately 16.4 km from the closest recognised RYA sailing area. There are several wrecks located within the Proposed Development Array Area and proposed ECC, but the depths of these wrecks exceed those which attract recreational divers. Likewise, the seabed within the Proposed Development Array Area and proposed ECC is relatively featureless and does not contain notable features which typically attract recreational divers. The nearshore and inshore waters which the proposed ECC crosses may also support recreational sea angling.
- The coastline around Scotland supports popular activities such as walking, wildlife and birdwatching, gold, beach activities, wild-fowling, horse-riding, camping, sailing, recreational angling, bathing, water and jet skiing, canoeing and motor boarding activities (LUC, 2007). Coastal paths of particular importance include the John Muir Way and the Fife Coastal Path.
- A review of the tourism in the region associated within the landfall locations (Thorntonloch and Skateraw, in East Lothian) suggests approximately 62% of tourists visit the beach and approximately 55% undertake sightseeing and tours (Scottish Tourism Alliance, 2019). In 2018, nearly half (48%) of all visitors undertook some kind of sporting activity, and hiking / walking / rambling remains the most popular sporting activity amongst visitors, especially overseas visitors (36%), whilst golf and birdwatching are undertaken by around one-tenth of all visitors, outdoor water sports only 5% and fishing only 2% (Scottish Tourism Alliance, 2019).
- Impacts to tourism and recreational receptors will be based on the outputs of the assessments undertaken within physical and human topic sections.