Housing and connectivity named as key Aberdeen City Deal priorities

Aberdeen city centre
Aberdeen city centre

Housing and better connectivity have been unveiled as two of the main priorities set out in proposals for an Aberdeen City Region Deal.

Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils delivered a “statement of intent” to the UK and Scottish governments in a bid to secure £2.9 billion to secure a better economic and social environment for the north east.

The statement outlines what benefits the funding would bring to the city and surrounding area. It has been produced on the basis that if the region is to continue to be a powerhouse of the UK economy it needs investment.

A full bid submission is due to be drawn up by the end of this year.

Items at the top of the local authorities’ list include providing more affordable homes, better rail connectivity and improved links to Aberdeen’s harbour and airport.

Research into renewable and hydrogen technologies and international trade have also been mentioned.

The statement of intent proposals include:

Housing – a request for support to unlock constrained sites to supply housing land, affordable housing funding and measures to help solve housing cost issues.

Connectivity – rail service improvements, including acceleration of planned upgrades to infrastructure and more local services; plans to deal with congestion issues; and improved harbour and airport connections.

Innovation – development of both an Oil and Gas Technology Institute and a Scottish Centre for bio pharmaceuticals; promotion of the region as a global centre of excellence in the field of renewable and hydrogen technologies research; and the creation of a Digital Offshore Data and Systems Centre.

Internationalisation – projects supporting international trade, the renewables industry, tourism, trade and investment, inward investment and export support.

Leader of Aberdeen City Council, Jenny Laing, said: “We believe that the commitments this Statement of Intent identifies can form the basis for a City Region Deal that will benefit not only the economy of the north east, but the rest of Scotland and the rest of the UK.

“The challenge is to work towards a deal that will maximise the benefits of co-ordinated new and accelerated investment in the Aberdeen City Region.

“We believe this statement articulates the progress that has been made so far and that a deal between the two Governments can be made.”

Co-leader of Aberdeenshire Council, Martin Kitts-Hayes, added: “We will continue to engage and collaborate with the two governments to deliver a City Region Deal that will ultimately contribute to the economic vision for the north east of Scotland.

“This is a successful region which plays a significant role in contributing to the financial well-being of Scotland, the UK and globally.

“By even greater collaboration across industry and all layers of government, we can protect the competitiveness of the oil and gas industry already firmly established here and help to power tomorrow’s world.”

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