New strategy to secure future of NE

Aberdeenshire Council's Woodhill House headquarters.
Aberdeenshire Council's Woodhill House headquarters.

A new Regional Economic Strategy developed to help secure the north east of Scotland’s economic future has been agreed by local councillors.

Aberdeenshire councillors approved the strategy at a special meeting of the full council recently.

It provides a long-term plan for the economic development of the north east to 2035.

Members voted 58-2 in favour, defeating a motion from Paul Johnston (Mid Formartine) and Martin Ford (East Garioch) which sought to move some of its focus away from the oil and gas industry, making use of the existing expertise to develop the renewable energy sector.

Aberdeenshire Council co-leader, Richard Thomson, said: “We all know that the North East of Scotland is one of the most prosperous regions of one of the most prosperous countries in Europe. This strategy recognises our strengths and our opportunities. The choices we make in pursuit of this strategy will govern the lives we lead and the opportunities we have for generations to come.

“We can either shape events or be shaped by them. This strategy, together with our regeneration strategy sitting alongside it gives us the best chance we’ve had in a generation to meet present and future economic challenges and to capitalise on the many opportunities we know the North East has.”

Councillor Jim Gifford (Mid Formartine) said he was very happy to support the strategy and Cllr Jill Webster (Banchory and Mid Deeside) described it as “enabling the evolution of the north east of Scotland”.

The Regional Economic Strategy is focused on four themes matching the priorities in the Scotland’s economic strategy: Innovation, Internationalisation, Infrastructure and Inclusivity.

It is designed to be a high-level document which sets out key sectors and strategic investment priorities for Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen as a whole. This approach reflects the region’s competitive advantage and also the sectors’ consistently high performance and contribution to the Scottish and UK economies.”