Opportunity North East (ONE), the private sector led and funded economic development company for the region, has welcomed the formalisation of the £250 million Aberdeen City Region Deal (CRD).
ONE said the CRD will play a catalytic role in maximising the North Sea oil and gas opportunity and enabling other key industries to grow as part of the region’s economic renaissance.
The CRD, which provides funding over ten years, includes £180 million for The Oil & Gas Technology Centre (The OGTC) and £30 million for innovation hubs to support growth in the life sciences and food, drink and agriculture industries.
ONE has secured these significant funds for innovation in the region in partnership with Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils, Scottish Enterprise and the city’s two universities and is the appointed partner for the delivery of the innovation projects. The CRD also provides £10 million to develop transport projects and for digital infrastructure investment.
The CRD was formally launched today in the city by Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council and ONE, the private sector partner, alongside the UK and Scottish Governments, the deal’s co-funders.
Sir Ian Wood, chairman of ONE, said: “The City Region Deal is a strong vote of confidence from Westminster and Holyrood in the dynamism, resilience, innovation and growth potential of our key industries.
"The deal partners, along with the wider business community, share the Renaissance vision for our region of significant economic development in the next two or three decades to build a broad and vibrant economic base supporting high quality employment to take us past the North Sea oil era.
“Opportunity North East, which now has the support of many key local bodies and individuals, is making good progress. We have been instrumental in securing the £210million of innovation funding in the City Region Deal – which will have a transformative impact in the years ahead – and we are pursuing opportunities to attract additional private sector funding.
"We really appreciate the support and confidence of the business community in this agenda of Renaissance and will work with them and the wider communities to tackle this region’s long-term economic challenges.
“Today marks the transition to a new and exciting phase with the first of the innovation projects, The OGTC, up and running with its funding in place. This signals the ambition and pace of action needed to deliver projects that will contribute to resilience and growth in our economy.
"Transitioning Aberdeen from a centre of operations in offshore oil and gas to a globally-recognised leader in mature basin technology via The OGTC will anchor at least some of our supply chain post the North Sea.
"The two innovation projects for food, drink and agriculture and life sciences will likewise significantly enhance the long term potential for these industries to make a significant contribution to our economy,” said Sir Ian.