Aberdeen City Region Deal - weekly progress update 10th November 2015

As negotiations continue between the Aberdeen City Region Deal team and representatives of the UK and Scottish governments, we are very pleased to introduce Ernst & Young (EY) as a new strategic advisor to the local authority partners.

The global professional services firm will assist Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils with the process, providing technical support and economic and financial modelling. This work will help to strengthen the case that investment in the region will provide a substantial return to UK Plc.

EY brings extensive experience in delivering major public sector projects and has expert knowledge of the North East economy and key relationships with major oil and gas industry figures.

The EY team will be able to draw on the latest developments across the City Region Deal policy agenda to benefit the case for the Aberdeen City Region.

Philip Milne, Executive Director, Corporate Finance, at EY, said the company is “deeply involved” in advising Manchester on its devolution agenda.

EY’s Infrastructure Advisory team have also been involved in many of Scotland’s leading infrastructure projects, helping to create thousands of jobs and regenerating regional areas.

Mr Milne said: “The most important factor is getting the focus right on key projects and interventions that will enable Aberdeen Region’s economy to be prosperous, diverse and inclusive in the long-term as well as maximising economic recovery from the UK Continental Shelf. As well as the right policy and project levers, a robust financial plan is required to maximise opportunity and ensure successful delivery.

“Aberdeen has a strong case for a City Region Deal, given its status as the oil capital of Europe and, in many respects, its key competitors are outwith the UK. It has long been an economic powerhouse to the benefit of the rest of the UK and now requires support to maximise economic recovery in the North Sea; ensuring it remains at the forefront of knowledge and innovation for oil and gas and other emerging sectors.”

The EY team is also assisting with the Highland City Region Deal and the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal. Mr Milne said that lessons could be learnt from the processes elsewhere.

Mr Milne said: “Key lessons are to focus on the key differentiators and unique selling points of the region and to have a clear vision from the outset. For Aberdeen, it is its global position at the frontier of the Oil & Gas sector; combining the region’s place on the world stage together with its domestic economic contribution to Scotland and the rest of the UK.”

The main themes of the Aberdeen City Region Deal focus around improving transport links, infrastructure and housing to meet the demands of a growing population, while investing in innovation, research and development and internationalisation. Detailed plans have been formed following months of engagement from both councils with key partners across the area.

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