Chair of the Aberdeen CRD Joint Committee discusses the first annual report
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
When the Aberdeen City Region Deal was signed in 2016 it marked the culmination of an enormous amount of diligent preparation by the public and private sectors to identify and develop projects that will contribute to our region’s future prosperity. The formalisation of the Deal was a landmark moment for the North East and the catalyst for a 10 year programme of investment worth in excess of £800 million to the area.
What we were very clear about from the outset was that the signing of the Deal also marked the start of the hard work, not the end.
The delivery activity that has flowed in the two years since demonstrates that point and the annual report captures the key milestones and outlines the future plans to realise the ambitions of the Deal.
Already the forecasts of the investment the Deal will leverage have been revised upwards, from the initial figure of £826 million to £868 million. That key indicator demonstrates the possibilities that are opening up.
There are a number of highlights in the pages that follow, not least the success of the Oil and Gas Technology Centre – which as the first project of the Aberdeen City Region Deal has set an incredibly high bar. In the first 18 months of operation the centre has fostered 80 ongoing projects, exceeding the initial aspirations, and secured £22 million of industry investment against initial expectations of £8.5 million.
Targets have been surpassed and the momentum which continues to build is an inspiration as we look forward to more Aberdeen City Region Deal projects coming onstream.
Innovation hubs for our food, drink and agriculture and life sciences sectors will realise growth, stimulate innovation and productivity, and contribute to the strength and diversity of the regional economy. The Biotherapeutics Hub for Innovation is now in its delivery phase and the Food Hub for Innovation business case is currently with the UK and Scottish Governments for approval. Both of these hubs will build on region-specific sector strengths, support company creation and growth, foster collaboration and commercialisation, and anchor employment and economic activity here long term.
The physical signs of the positive impact of the Aberdeen City Region Deal are also prominent, with the Aberdeen Harbour expansion gathering pace and the digital infrastructure commitment demonstrated by the ongoing full fibre build programme which will make Aberdeen the country’s first gigabit city when completed.
As Chair of the Joint Committee the progress is welcome and the potential of the Aberdeen City Region Deal is clear. On behalf of the Deal partners, I thank our project partners and stakeholders, and the businesses within our key industry sectors and across the city region for their continued support as we work together towards shared goals.
Read the Aberdeen City Region Deal annual report.
Cllr Jenny Laing,Aberdeen City Council Co-LeaderChair of the Aberdeen City Region Deal Joint Committee