Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and in the 2011 census had a population of 593,200. The city has a history of shipbuilding and engineering and played a key part as an industrial manufacturer and port location for the British Empire, not least through a prominent role in the tobacco trade. Today, Glasgow’s economy is based upon a range of financial services, creative industries, tourism and continued manufacturing. The city experienced large scale urban renewal during the 1960s with densely populated inner urban areas being demolished and the population moved to surrounding ‘new towns’. Since the 1990s the city has been a focal point for urban regeneration, most notably around the hosting of a series of cultural and sporting events. In 2010, 9.7% of the population came from non-White ethnic groups.
Glasgow has been home to the highest numbers of dispersed asylum seekers in the UK since the implementation of the dispersal system. At the end of 2003 the city was home to 5,676 asylum seekers in receipt of Section 95 support, this number has fallen dramatically in line with national falls and at the end of 2012 there were 1,770 asylum seekers supported under Section 95 in the city. During this time, the city has maintained a significant share of the national dispersal population, fluctuating at points from 7% at the end of 2013 to a high of 11% at the end of 2005 and returning to 8.8% at the end of 2012. Linked to this dispersal population, Glasgow has a wide range of Refugee Community Organisations, support networks and advocacy movements, and the Scottish Refugee Council have attempted to promote a distinctive approach to asylum and migration in contrast to the wider UK context.