Aberdeen City Region Deal: Joint Committee Update November 2017

Below are the highlights of the Aberdeen City Region Deal Joint Committee meeting held, on Friday, 10th November 2017:

Harbour update:

Under the banner of City Region Deal (CRD), both councils have invested in developments at Aberdeen Harbour and Colin Parker, the CE of Aberdeen Harbour presented to Committee to keep them up to date with the work. Work is progressing well on the construction of new breakwaters, berthing facilities and bay dredging. Still on programme and on budget for completing May 2020. Other infrastructure discussed, such as a cycle path and visitor centre. What will the development mean? Better facilities for Inspection, repair and maintenance, decommissioning, the expansion of the cruise market, offshore wind and large ferry options.

Strategic Transport Appraisal:

An update was provided on the £7million investment from CRD, a transport appraisal taking a 20 year strategic view of the transport implications of the investment unlocked by the Deal. As a result of ongoing discussion, a further remodelling of transport flows is likely to be delayed by between six and nine months until after the opening of the AWPR. It is in line with Transport Scotland obligation to monitoring projects post-completion to make sure that the data is robust.

Digital update:

It was confirmed that affordable access to ultrafast broadband services would be within reach for many small or medium sized businesses across the CRD area, as the Government funded Local Full Fibre Networks Connection Voucher Scheme moves closer to getting off the ground. Internet service providers will be encouraged to get businesses together into “pockets of demand” who can pull their vouchers to bring build costs down for connection costs shared amongst users. More detailed information will follow to businesses and internet providers however it appears this voucher scheme could be applicable to many more businesses than was the case in previous schemes.

Meanwhile a business case will come to Committee in February which will look at a model to provide 450 public sector buildings across the CRD area with access to enhanced connectivity. This will include sites such as schools, hospitals, GP surgeries and health centres, in the city and in areas of Aberdeenshire such as Westhill, Inverurie, Stonehaven, Blackburn, Kintore, Banchory and Portlethen.