THE announcement of an Aberdeen City Region Deal and additional investment in infrastructure in the North East is a further positive step, after decades of under-investment, which will support the success of the city region at a time of significant challenges – according to the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI).
SCDI also highlighted that they create a common economic platform for the UK and Scottish governments and regional public, private and social economy partners which demonstrates the shared interest in maximising the economic benefits throughout the UK and Scotland of the oil and gas industry and Aberdeen’s status as a global energy hub.
This should enable further stages of investment over the next 20 years to transform the city region’s infrastructure and strengthen its competitiveness.
Ian Armstrong, NE regional director, SCDI, said: “Investment in the infrastructure of North East Scotland has never matched what our economy has generated in tax and economic benefits for the UK and Scotland, or what is invested in other global energy hubs.
“This legacy is clear in the pressures on our housing supply and transport networks, and the lack of vitality in our city centre. This is starting to be put right and the City Region Deal is a further welcome step in the right direction which will help to address current pressures and support the innovations the oil and gas industry will need as a mature basin in a lower oil price world and the diversification of the economy in other key and emerging sectors.
“But it is only a first step – a higher commitment behind this new approach will be required by all levels of government and the private sector to make the transformational investments which position Aberdeen city region as a global energy hub and a more diverse economy.”
SCDI’s recently published report, ‘From Fragile to Agile: A Blueprint for Growth & Prosperity’, which focused on how Scotland can improve its productivity, innovation and internationalisation, underpinned by infrastructure, recommended that agreeing and delivering City Regions Deals for Aberdeen City and Shire, Edinburgh and South East Scotland, and Inverness and Highland – following the lead of Glasgow and the Clyde Valley – were key early actions to establish a tempo which generates a sense of clear and shared purpose.
Ross Martin, chief executive, SCDI, said: “The Aberdeen City Region deal is an important stimulus for a key economic centre for Scotland and the UK, but it is also a significant development in another way, in that it creates a common economic platform which demonstrates the shared interest in, and significance of, the future success of Aberdeen city region for the UK and Scotland – and which can deliver further public-private investment.
“With more devolution and decentralisation of powers in progress, and the continuing need to rebalance the economy, this is the mature approach which will increasingly be needed to maximise investment and its returns for the economy and society.
“With a city region deal already in place for Glasgow and the Clyde Valley – and now this commitment to take forward a new city region deal for Aberdeen – Inverness and Highland and Edinburgh and South East Scotland should be the next to agree additional levers and resources to drive and diversify their economies.”
Notes to editors:
SCDI’s pre-Budget 2015 submission to the UK Government included the following:
SCDI’s strongly supports work to rebalance and decentralise the UK economy. In Scotland, a City Deal has already been agreed for the Glasgow city-region, with a strong emphasis on infrastructure improvements, and SCDI would support further agreements with Scottish city-regions which make robust proposals, particularly on infrastructure investment to improve productivity, innovation and internationalisation.
SCDI believes that the current contraction in the oil and gas sector underlines the essential need to address the long-term infrastructure pressures on the Aberdeen city-region economy and maintain the competitiveness of the UK’s global energy hub.
A City Deal for the Aberdeen city-region should, therefore, be a particular priority for Budget 2015 and SCDI has proposed that this involves the creation of an allowance for company contributions to an Aberdeen City and Shire infrastructure fund.
SCDI Blueprint ‘From Fragile to Agile’ report published in Dec.2015 can be accessed at:
SCDI (Scottish Council for Development & Industry), founded in 1931, is Scotland’s leading independent economic development organisation working across the public, private and social economy sectors and representing 1,200 organisations including global corporate companies, SMEs, public sector bodies and educational institutions, professional associations and trade unions, faith groups, charitable and social economy sector organisations.
For further information, please contact:
Ian Armstrong, NE regional director, SCDI
T: 07824 619328 firstname.lastname@example.org
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