Aberdeen Oil Summit: UK, Scottish and City governments united behind City Region Deal
At the Aberdeen oil and gas summit today (2nd February 2015) industry leaders, academics, trade unions, representative bodies and three layers of government came together to discuss the future of the industry and region.
We called this summit because the oil and gas industry is at the heart of our city and our region. Anything that impacts on their health impacts on the health of our city region.
That is why we must use this opportunity to build the infrastructure - roads, houses, skills development, innovation, digital connectivity - to anchor the sector and supply chain to Aberdeen for the next 50 years. All of these things will aid the industry in becoming more cost competitive. In our view a City Region deal is the best way to achieve this.
The North Sea oil and gas industry will continue to be a significant asset for Scotland and for the Scottish economy.
But it faces a challenge at the moment and that means it is incumbent on all levels of government - Scottish, UK and local government to work together to provide the industry with the support it needs at this time.
We've taken action recently – for example, to establish a jobs taskforce to play our part in maintaining skills and employment and helping those who might be facing redundancy.
We will also continue to press the UK Government to make the tax changes that the industry is calling for.
We are supportive about the prospect of a City Deal - there is a strong case given the current challenges facing the oil and gas sector. We will continue to work with the UK Government to hear detailed proposals from Aberdeen Council.
The UK Government is committed to the long-term future of the sector in the North Sea and to Aberdeen as a key Scottish city.
We are committed to working with partners, including the Scottish Government and Aberdeen City Council, to ensuring we do all we can to sustain the industry and protect the jobs which depend on it. As a Government, we have already taken significant measures to help the sector. The UK Government expects to build on this action at the Budget.
I also welcome the details of the City Deal proposal which the Aberdeen councils and others have brought forward. I am a strong supporter of the programme and its ability to unleash further growth and potential. I will consider it fully and discuss it with colleagues in government in the coming weeks.
1.The Aberdeen Oil and Gas Summit was held on Monday 2nd February at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen.
2.Council Leader Councillor Cllr Jenny Laing announced that actions and progress from the summit would be taken forward to the Oil and Gas UK annual conference in June and that Aberdeen City Council will be hosting an Oil and Gas summit annually.
3.The itinerary for the summit was as follows:-
• Welcomes by summit chair Mark Stephen, Director, Nevismark Ltd, and Aberdeen City Council Leader Councillor Jenny Laing and – 09.15–09.30.
• Overviews of the current situation in the oil and gas industry presented by the Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of Scotland, and the Rt Hon Alistair Carmichael MP, Secretary of State for Scotland – 09.30–09.50.
• Perspectives on the industry presented by Andy Samuel of the Oil & Gas Authority, Professor Alex Kemp of the University of Aberdeen, Malcolm Webb of Oil & Gas UK, and John Taylor of Unite the Union – 09.50–10.30.
• Delegates discussion and Q&A session– 10.30–11.00.• Workshops and feedback from 11.30.