Capital investment plans

The leader of Aberdeenshire Council has reassured the local business community of the authority’s belief in the area’s economic future, highlighting hundreds of millions of pounds of future investment.

Speaking ahead of an economic summit held on Friday, Councillor Jim Gifford emphasised the council’s commitment to developing local infrastructure. He has encouraged local business to get involved to ensure that projects reflect local need and ambition.

With planned capital infrastructure investment of over £400 million up to 2016, Cllr Gifford said the council is doing its bit to support a healthy local economy.

Spending will include £186 million on schools and education, £122million on roads and transportation and £18 million on sports and culture.

While Aberdeenshire appears to be weathering the current financial storm better than most, Mr Gifford said he and his colleagues will continue to engage with local businesses and communities to ensure everyone is working to the same purpose.

Economic development is one of Aberdeenshire Council’s key priorities and the spending includes new secondary schools, at Ellon, Laurencekirk and Alford, six new primary schools, investment in the council’s industrial portfolio, as well as new leisure facilities and care homes.

Councillor Gifford was speaking ahead of the ACSEF Economic Summit, entitled “securing investment for success”, a forum for the public and private sectors.

He said: “The large sums we are committed to spending in Aberdeenshire over the next three to four years are a clear indication of the council’s commitment to developing the area and its economy into the future.

“Economic development is one of our main priorities and we’re putting our money where our mouth is to make sure this area remains vibrant and continues to grow.

“Despite downturns and news of doom and gloom elsewhere in Scotland, we’re optimistic about this area and want investors to be as well. That’s why we’re committing to the area’s infrastructure and in revitalising our towns and villages, leading the way and committing funding to work which will benefit everyone.”