Aberdeenshire Council backs innovative City Region Deal proposals

Aberdeenshire Council’s Policy & Resources Committee today (Thursday Sept 17, 2015) welcomed plans to establish innovative governance arrangements for the Aberdeen City Region Deal.

Councillors supported a recommendation for proposals to be developed to establish a joint committee with Aberdeen City Council (the Aberdeen City Region Deal Executive), to strengthen the joint ownership of the Deal that exists between both Councils and private sector.

The report considered the governance arrangements required to oversee and ensure the effective delivery of commitments made through the Aberdeen City Region Deal.

It follows an announcement that Sir Ian Wood will chair the newly established Economic Leadership Board which will now play a vital role in supporting Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils in securing and delivering the Aberdeen City Region Deal.

The Board will also be significantly focused on its original purpose – to set up sector groups to look at maximising the economic development opportunities in key industries like Oil & Gas, Food & Drink/Agriculture, Life Sciences and Tourism in the Region.

Details of the new Board are still to be finalised, but it’s likely to be a significantly evolved model from Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future (ACSEF).

Co-Leader of Aberdeenshire Council Cllr Martin Kitts-Hayes welcomed the governance model which the Government at Westminster have indicated needs to be innovative. He said: “There’s already been an incredible response from businesses in the region to the Aberdeen City Region Deal, and it is our expectation that the engagement and support we’ve had so far will continue.

“With the private sector-led Economic Leadership Board, and the establishment of the City Region Deal Executive, we believe that we have a model that will truly be innovative, and a strong demonstration of the shared commitment to this Deal by both the public and private sectors.”

The Aberdeen City Region Deal will improve transport links, digital connectivity and housing to meet the demands of a growing population, whilst closing the infrastructure gap and retaining skills, talent and expertise in the region to anchor business investment across all sectors.

Investment will also focus on helping the region’s economy to diversify – a key goal of the economic strategy - and to ensure the area continues to contribute substantially to UK plc for decades to come.