Jenny Laing: Support for Scots oil and gas sector crucial

Our ambition is for Aberdeen and the North Sea to become an internationally recognised oil and gas technology base. Picture: PA
Our ambition is for Aberdeen and the North Sea to become an internationally recognised oil and gas technology base. Picture: PA
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A STRONG North-east economy is good for all of Scotland, writes Jenny Laing

Politicians and industry figures in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Council hosted the Oil and Gas Summit in February of this year. Politicians across the spectrum were unanimous in their support of anchoring the Oil and Gas sector to the Aberdeen City Region through innovation, internationalisation and investment in infrastructure such as transport, housing and digital connectivity.

As an international oil and gas operations base and using the existing expertise in offshore technology and engineering our ambition is to become an internationally recognised oil and gas technology base so that we can support the industry in the North Sea and across the world in maximising economic oil and gas recovery.

The Aberdeen City Region Deal is an enabler for the delivery of a new Regional Economic Strategy which aims to build on the existing skills, knowledge and expertise in order to enable the diversification of the North-eastern economy into sectors such as renewables, tourism, food and drink, creative industries and life sciences.

This strategy sets the context for ONE (Opportunity North-east), the new private-sector led economic leadership board which brings together the two councils, Scottish Enterprise and the two universities. ONE will invest in and accelerate the delivery of projects of scale through four sector boards to stimulate economic growth, safeguard jobs and create new employment opportunities over the medium to long term.

On Wednesday the two councils agreed this new economic strategy in the context of the ongoing pressure on public sector expenditure. Decisions made in the days and weeks ahead are therefore crucial and we will be working closely with all stakeholders to ensure this vision becomes a reality.

• Cllr Jenny Laing is leader of Aberdeen City Council