UK’s oil and gas capital Aberdeen is set to receive a major boost as the UK Government has confirmed a £250 million ($358M) City Deal for the Scottish city.
The Deal will see UK Government, Scottish Government and local authorities work together to invest in future of North East Scotland. The financial injection includes boost for innovation and diversification in the oil and gas industry.
The City Deal will address a number of proposals from the region including a new energy innovation centre, supporting the industry to exploit remaining North Sea reserves, as well towards the expansion of Aberdeen harbour, enabling the city to compete for decommissioning work. The City Deal also sets out how the region will diversify the biopharmaceutical and agri-food industries, diversifying the area’s economy and creating new jobs and export opportunities, as well as commitments to improve digital connectivity across the area.
Scottish Secretary David Mundell will sign the deal on behalf of the UK Government today.
Mundell, said: “Oil and gas is a crucial sector, not just for the North East of Scotland but for the whole of the UK. I know it’s a very tough time for people who work in the industry and their families, and I am determined that the UK Government will do what it can to support them.”
The UK’s oil and gas industry is its largest industrial sector, contributing around £19bn in gross value added in 2014. As of 2014, the industry was estimated to support around 375,000 jobs across the economy.
Mundell added: “We’re stepping up our response, and yesterday I chaired a very productive meeting of the new Ministerial group on Oil and Gas. As well as looking at how we help the industry get more business internationally and draw more investment into the UK, its very first priority will be to set out what steps the UK Government will take to support those who may lose their jobs in the oil and gas sector. The plan will focus on how Government and industry can help these skilled workers move into other sectors and find opportunities where their skills can be best put to use, including other energy related infrastructure projects.”
The Prime Minister David Cameron will visit Aberdeen later to meet local employers and workers, as well as senior executives from the oil and gas industry, to hear about the challenges facing the area.
Whilst in Aberdeen, the Prime Minister is also due to announce further UK Government measures to safeguard oil and gas sector jobs, on top of the financial boost the UK City Deal will bring.