Councillors updated on progress of Aberdeen City Region Deal Bid
A major project to drive future economic growth in the north-east is expected to take another step forward this week. (Thursday, August 27)
Aberdeenshire councillors will receive a progress report on the Aberdeen City Region Deal Bid, which is being worked up by the City and Shire councils.
Both authorities have been working closely with public and private sector organisations on proposals which aim to support the delivery of a regional economic development strategy based on innovation and skills development.
The strategy includes options to invest in transport, digital and housing infrastructure and reflects the international aspirations of the whole region.The City Region Deal would be supported by the capital plans already in place from Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils, along with other regional stakeholders and business sector investment over the next 10 years.
Three phases have been identified to realise a City Region Deal: development, negotiation and implementation.
While development has been the focus so far, Aberdeenshire councillors will this week be asked to delegate authority to the council’s Chief Executive to progress the negotiation phase.
It is intended that he will work in consultation with the council’s co-leaders and the leader of the main opposition, alongside leading councillors and the chief executive of Aberdeen City Council.
They will then conduct direct negotiations with both the UK and Scottish Governments on the submission and agreement of an Aberdeen City Region Deal bid.
Both councils have been invited to submit a written proposal to the UK Government on September 4 as a statement of intent and depending on the feedback this could allow the negotiation stage to begin.
Such a deal would allow the area to capitalise on the existing knowledge economy and expertise available in the north east in a wide variety of disciplines.
Investment in innovation, research and development would build upon the existing economic strength of the region, which already substantially contributes to UK PLC.
A vital element of the City Region Deal is transportation, infrastructure and housing, however that alone will not grow the economy and achieve the project’s long term objectives.
A City Region Deal is wider than simply the financial cost of improvement projects, it can mean changes to policy which help the region to do business more effectively.
Any investment needed to achieve the aims of the project will come from a wide variety of sources and will have to be secured.