What is the relationship between The University of Glasgow and The Centre for Public Policy for Regions (CPPR)?

CPPR is an academic research centre located in the University’s College of Social Sciences.  The CPPR Director is Professor Richard Harris.  Professor Harris holds the Cairncross Chair of Economics and is a full-time member of staff in the University of Glasgow Business School. 

CPPR is concerned with the role of public policy in promoting economic and social development in Scotland and beyond.  It provides 'Quality academic research for better public policies' and has developed a unique role in Scotland providing research and commentary on Scotland's public finances, the Scottish economy and wider public policy issues.  To achieve its goals it publishes reports, papers and hold seminars and policy briefings on the key economic and social challenges facing Scotland and other regions.  CPPR is independent of any political or corporate bodies.

What support is provided by the University to CPPR in financial terms either direct monetary inputs or the provision of accommodation and the use of resources?

CPPR was officially launched in 2004 with a grant of £954,000 (covering 2004-2008) from the Scottish Funding Council.  The initiative was based on a joint collaboration between the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde.

The University of Glasgow provides no direct funding to CPPR.  However the University provides assistance in kind to CPPR, as a University centre undertaking academic research.  The University provides office space, computers, access to IT services and library services.  As above, the University has also appointed Professor Harris, a full-time academic member of staff, as the Director of CPPR.


CPPR staff working on public policy:

Jo Armstrong


2004 to date Independent Economist Researcher, CPPR.
Honorary Professor Public Policy, University of Glasgow Business School
Honorary Research Fellow, Built Environment, Herriot Watt University
Associate, The Fraser of Allander Institute, University of Strathclyde
 2001-2003  Policy Adviser, The Scottish Executive / Government
1992-­2001  The Royal Bank of Scotland plc (various roles in Edinburgh and London):
  • Director, RBS/Scottish Power plc joint venture
  • Director, Ecommerce
  • Head of Analysis, Structured Finance
  • Head of Business Economics Unit
  • Energy Economist
1990–1992  Partner, Cousins Stephens Associates
1988–1990  Senior Policy Executive, Scottish Development Agency (SDA)
1984–1988  Business Analyst, Britoil plc


Corporate Finance representative of the FSA

MSc Economics (ESRC funded, by research), University of Strathclyde

BA Economics, University of Strathclyde

Current Affiliations

Chair and Trustee of Enable Scotland Limited

Political Status

No links or affiliations with any political party or organisation.

Jo was appointed as a Policy Advisor to the Scottish Executive (2001 - 2003), for her corporate finance and business economics expertise.  Such Policy Advisor appointments are made under Nolan Rules. To be appointed to this senior civil service post involved being interviewed by and reporting to the Permanent Secretary and other senior civil servants. It was not a political appointment.


John McLaren


2002 to date  Independent Economist Researcher, and since 2004 affiliated to CPPR. Honorary Professor Public Policy, University of Glasgow Business School since 2011.
 1999-2001  Special Adviser in the Policy Unit of the Scottish Executive for the First Minister of Scotland
 1999  Head of Policy Research at the Scottish Labour Party prior to the 1999 election for the Scottish Parliament.
 1989–1998  Civil Servant (Economic Adviser at the Scottish Office government department)
 1985–1990  Civil Servant (Economic Adviser at H.M. Treasury)
 1984–1986  Researcher in Economics Department at the University of Manchester


B.A. Economics and Social Studies, University of Manchester

Political Status

John was a civil servant at both H.M. Treasury (1985-1988) and at the Scottish Office (1989-1998). During this period he had no political affiliations.

John worked as a researcher for the Labour Party for a year leading up to the first election (1999) of the new Scottish Parliament, being subsequently appointed as a Special Adviser by Donald Dewar, and then by Henry McLeish, for the period up to 2001. John was a member of the Labour Party from 2000 to 2005. In 2006 John was hired by the Labour Party on a consultancy basis to undertake work leading up to the 2007 election.

Since 2002 John has worked as an independent economic consultant and member of CPPR. Since 2005 he has had no political affiliations.