Signing ceremony completes £250m Aberdeen City Region Deal
The £250 million Aberdeen City Region Deal agreement was officially signed yesterday, paving the way for investment in housing and better connectivity across the region.
The terms of the deal commit both the UK government and Scottish Government to jointly investing up to £250m whilst Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council and local partners are committed to investing up to £44m over the next decade.
The 10-year deal is designed to act as a catalyst for economic growth and diversification, with partners announcing that estimates suggest the Aberdeen City Region Deal’s total value could be up to £826m once private sector and other investment is factored in.
The deal encompasses a number of projects including support for The Oil & Gas Technology Centre, a digital infrastructure fund and the proposed expansion of Aberdeen Harbour. A Bio-Therapeutic Hub for Innovation, Agri-Food and Nutrition Hub for Innovation and a Strategic Transport Appraisal are also part of the programme.
These projects are collectively estimated by the deal partners to be capable of delivering annual Gross Value Added (GVA) increases of £260m across the Aberdeen City Region, £222m in Scotland and £190m in the UK.
The partners also estimate the deal has the potential to create an average of 330 new jobs per year in the region, aggregating to 3,300 new net jobs over its 10-year lifespan. It could also generate additional annual tax revenues to the Government of £113m from income tax, national insurance, VAT and oil tax revenues.
UK government minister Lord Dunlop and Keith Brown MSP, cabinet secretary for the economy, jobs and fair work, were joined by Aberdeen City Council leader Councillor Jenny Laing, Aberdeenshire Council co-leader Councillor Richard Thomson and Opportunity North East chairman Sir Ian Wood to sign the landmark document.
The local authorities had delivered a “statement of intent” in September last year which included a request for support to unlock constrained sites to supply housing land, affordable housing funding and measures to help solve housing cost issues.
Councillor Jenny Laing said: “The signing of the Aberdeen City Region Deal marks the final stage in the process of bringing the deal to fruition – but also marks the beginning of a long-term programme designed to make a positive impact on our region and its economy, bringing benefits now and for generations to come.
“Aberdeen City Council is driving unprecedented transformation in our city and the projects supported by the deal will have an important part to play in our vision. We are in the midst of delivering ambitious £1 billion capital programme which will improve opportunities for individuals and businesses in Aberdeen, whilst providing a solid foundation for the region as a whole.
“Innovation and diversification are at the heart of Aberdeen City Council’s plans and both of those qualities run through the City Region Deal’s themes. We are already established on the world stage but must work hard to build on that position – and the evidence of that commitment to progress can be seen throughout the city.
“Our City Centre Masterplan and Strategic Infrastructure Plan are just two examples of the way in which we are creating positive change, but we recognise Aberdeen City Council cannot act alone. We must embrace the opportunities presented by the City Region Deal and look forward to delivering projects which will ensure the maximum return for the £250m of funding it brings.”
Councillor Richard Thomson added: “Today is a significant day. We have now put pen to paper on one of the biggest opportunities that this region has seen and it is hard to overstate the importance of this.”
View the terms of the Aberdeen City Region Deal here: http://bit.ly/2eWJMYV.