The head of a north-east economic development body said yesterday that a strong oil and gas industry would bolster efforts to create an “economic renaissance” in the region after the downturn.
Jennifer Craw, chief executive of Opportunity North East (One), said the oil industry’s Vision 2035 and the idea of regional economic renaissance plan went hand-in-hand.
Vision 2035, agreed by major oil and gas sector stakeholders, outlines the potential benefits to the UK of maximising activity in North Sea production and its supply chain.
One was launched in December 2015 with £29million from The Wood Foundation to help diversify the region’s economy beyond oil and gas.
Ms Craw was speaking at the Route to Renaissance Vanguard Conference in Aberdeen, organised by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Shell.
The chamber’s Vanguard series was launched with the aim of capturing and progressing the key strategic issues for the north-east.
Groups of volunteers from across the region were asked to present their business cases on a number of transformational projects before being questioned by a panel.
About 160 people were expected to attend the event at Belmont Filmhouse yesterday.
Ms Craw said: “This region has a clear vision for its future and that Renaissance vision is aligned with the oil and gas industry’s Vision 2035
“Vision 2035 is built on MER UK fully realising the North Sea opportunity, Aberdeen becoming a globally recognised hub for innovation and technology development, and a strong supply chain anchored in the region for the long term
“For us, this means that the North Sea opportunity continues to support high value employment and productivity.
“Alongside this, growth in food and drink, agriculture and fishing, tourism, life sciences, digital and entrepreneurship delivers a more balanced and resilient economic base for north-east Scotland in the medium to long term
“And the themes of innovation and international focus are shared by the region’s other key industry sectors, which must increase productivity, strengthen, grow, provide high quality employment and contribute to a diversified, vibrant and resilient regional economy to make north-east Scotland a competitive business location, nationally and internationally.”
Lindley Kirkpatrick of Scotrail and motivational speaker Adrian Webster also addressed the audience at the event.