28 Jan 2016

£500m investment to help north-east combat oil price slide

£500m investment to help north-east combat oil price slide


Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire have been allocated more than £500million of funding over the next decade to improve infrastructure, attract jobs and diversify the local economy.

A £250million "City Deal" for Aberdeen will see the UK and Scottish governments jointly invest in exploiting remaining North Sea oil reserves and expanding the city's harbour to compete for decommissioning work.

The SNP administration at Holyrood is also promising an extra £254million for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

Scottish ministers say the additional cash will be targeted towards the delivery of improved transport and digital connectivity and local housing programmes requested by the local authorities.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will visit Aberdeen on Monday for meetings with the oil and gas industry where she will make a further announcement of Scottish government action to support innovation, exploration, skills and access to finance for the North Sea industry.

Where will the money be spent

According to the Scottish Government the additional money pledged today will cover:

  • An initial £200million additional funding to help improve journey times and increase capacity on key rail links between Aberdeen and the Central Belt.
  • £24million of funding for the trunk roads programme to support improvements to the key A90/A937 south junction at Laurencekirk.
  • £10 million for extension of digital infrastructure in the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire area above and beyond the commitment through the City Deal.
  • £20million in infrastructure funding to unlock housing sites that are of strategic importance to the local authorities as well as 5 year certainty on £130million of affordable housing grant.

Faith in Aberdeen economy

Scottish Infrastructure Secretary Keith Brown said the funding reaffirms the government’s commitment to Aberdeen City and shire.

“This announcement of additional funding sends an unequivocal message that Aberdeen and the north-east remain central to driving future growth and prosperity in Scotland,” he said.

“This additional funding includes £20million to unlock strategic housing development sites which will deliver affordable housing in the region and a further £10 million to deliver competitive digital solutions to support economic development.

“This funding reaffirms our commitment to Aberdeen City and shire and supports over £1billion of investment in the area including £50million for the Haudagain improvement works and the AWPR.”

Welcome boost for property market

Bob Fraser, Senior Property Partner at Aberdein Considine, added: “Clearly this is a statement of faith in the north-east economy.

“Both the UK and Scottish governments say the region is crucial for growth and this extra financial investment should ease any uncertainty people have about the local economy.” 

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