Scotland National Strategy for Economic Transformation: Regional Economic Partnerships - evidence

This Paper provides summary evidence received from Scotland's Regional Economic Partnerships as part of the National Strategy for Economic Transformation engagement process.

1. North East Regional Economic Strategy

Figure 1.1 – GVA of Aberdeen City Region [1]
Figure 1.1 - Shows the GVA in millions of pounds for the Aberdeen City Region over 2009 to 2019
Figure 1.2 – Employment of Aberdeen City Region [2]
Figure 1.2 – Shows the Employment of the Aberdeen City region over 2009-2019

Regional Aspirations to 2030

The Regional Economic Strategy and subsequent refreshed action plans in response to changing economic conditions and Covid-19 provides an overarching framework for the region's aspiration. This is the basis for the City Region Deal, and, more recently the Net Zero Vision and Strategic Infrastructure Plan for Energy Transition. The region will continue:

  • supporting development in key sectors of the region's economy (energy, food and drink, agriculture and fishing, tourism, life sciences and creative industries);
  • investing in skills and training opportunities and create sustainable, high value jobs for the future in the low carbon economy, while ensuring a just transition towards the next phase of jobs in the energy sector;
  • establishing as the UK's leading hydrogen capital to deliver projects which enhance the reputation of the North East as the focal point of scale production and distribution of renewable hydrogen in Scotland and the UK;
  • maximising the economic opportunity of energy transition in the region and developing its leadership role in delivering net-zero solutions in the UK and internationally, capitalising on existing supply chain and infrastructure like Acorn and St Fergus.

Regional Opportunities

The REP has identified opportunities in the following:

  • green recovery and energy transition, building on its global credentials in offshore and subsea energy production;
  • supporting sustainable growth in key sectors and in high value green jobs–to deliver just transition;
  • for the region's energy sector, through Energy Transition Zone, FreePort, Scotwind, hydrogen power and Carbon, Capture, Utilisation and Storage;
  • the Net Zero Technology Centre (incl. National Decommission Centre & Global Subsea Centre), Energy Transition Zone, Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub and Global Underwater Hub are among the key projects maximising the economic opportunity of energy transition in the region and developing its leadership role in delivering net-zero solutions in the UK and internationally; and,
  • working with the private sector to deliver the Regional Economic Strategy, utilising the strong relationship between Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire which enables effective partnership working.

Regional Challenges

Key challenges identified for the region relate to:

  • Economic diversification and renewal in response to the, the climate emergency and new international trading environment;
  • Supply-side issues constraining place and international competitiveness linked to:
  • improving the attractiveness of the city centre and towns to people, investors and visitors;
  • labour market shortages;
  • providing good intra and extra regional connectivity;
  • capitalising on investments in renowned culture/arts offer and visitor attractions;
  • providing housing that is affordable for all;
  • lack of national public sector investment in transformational projects to maximising region's economic potential; and,
  • national public sector investment not coming quick enough to meet opportunities.

Ongoing and Planned Activity for Region

Ongoing planned activity for the region include delivery of the following:

  • The North East Recovery and Skills Fund, and the Regional Recovery and Renewal Fund to support projects that address employability and skills development, innovation and energy transition;
  • Innovation projects including Energy Transition Zone, Hydrogen Hub, SeedPod, BioHub and Net Zero Technology Centre. Aberdeen's Regional Economic Strategy has a focus on;
  • Digital transformation and technology solutions which are being delivered through the Aberdeen City Region Deal;
  • City Centre Masterplan and Union Street/ Market development;
  • Beach Masterplan;
  • the North East Adventure Tourism; and,
  • Seafood Transformation Development.



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