Aberdeen City Region Deal - weekly progress update. 30th October 2015

Members of the Aberdeen City Region Deal team took their bid to Holyrood this week to secure further support and understanding from national politicians.

Representatives from Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City Councils joined a wide range of partners reflecting the key themes of the city region deal proposals to make the trip to Edinburgh.

The Aberdeen City Region Deal Parliamentary Reception was hosted by Mark McDonald MSP in the Burns Room of the Scottish Parliament and was opened by Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future (ACSEF) chair, Colin Crosby.

Leader of Aberdeen City Council, Councillor Jenny Laing, and Co-Leader of Aberdeenshire Council, Councillor Richard Thomson invited a range of partners to join them at the event and received cross-party and cross-sectoral support.

Those representing the City Region Deal included: Carol Benzie, Aberdeen International Airport; Claire Bruce, Chair, Area Tourism Partnership; Colin Crosby, ACSEF Chair; Philip Smith, VisitScotland; Robin Davies, Subsea 7;Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Aberdeen University; Pat Machray, ANM Group and Jennifer Craw of Robert Gordon University.

Members of the City Deal team networked with MSPs, councillors and business partners telling them more about the Deal and how, through collaboration across industry and all levels of government, it will boost innovation and technology developed and delivered in the Aberdeen City Region for the benefit of generations to come.

Speaking at the event, Cllr Laing said: “We need to build upon our reputation for innovation as well as provide the supporting infrastructure that will also boost our efforts to continue the internationalisation of our skills, technology and expertise.

“Yes, our economic vision in the short term is about securing the benefits of oil and gas activity and that means maximising recovery and cost reduction. But for the medium to long term we must create the conditions where the energy sector can flourish by broadening our economy into new clusters of related sectors.

“This broadening gives the energy sector resilience against future economic shocks and will help us retain the global talent and expertise that we need to progress and innovate.

“It also means seizing the once in a generation opportunity of improving our infrastructure so that our workforce – across all parts of the regional economy – can afford to live and work in the City Region.”

Cllr Thomson told the audience: “Our approach will be tri-partite – two local councils and industry at the heart of delivery, working together for the greater good of the City Region for the benefit of business, academia and our communities.

“Our model will reflect and build on the engagement that continues to take place across all levels of Government, throughout both the public and private sector and we will continue to collaborate to ensure that our deal delivers our collective ambitions to secure the future prosperity of the region.

“We are in a negotiation phase and anticipate that by the end of the year we will submit our bid, detailing the ask of the two governments, and outlining the public and private sector contributions to the wider programme of activity.

“In the meantime, the work continues to refine our bid, gathering the evidence to support our case and preparing for the opportunities that will be open to us in a future where a deal has been secured.”

Earlier in the day, a Parliamentary Motion in support of the Aberdeen City Region Deal was lodged by Mark McDonald MSP and has already attracted cross-party support and 16 signatories.

Resources and the latest information relating to the progress of the Aberdeen City Region Deal can be found on our microsite at: www.ABZdeal.com