Investment worth almost £16 billion will be poured into the north-east economy over the next decade, according to a new study.
The sixth edition of Investment Tracker – published by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC) in partnership with Invest Aberdeen and Opportunity North East (One) – shows record levels of cash coming into the region between now and 2033.
On top of £6.5bn-worth of projects delivered since the report was launched in 2016, infrastructure and regeneration activities totalling £15.9bn are currently in the pipeline.
The new report, being launched at the James Hutton Institute on Thursday, includes:
- £780 million in planned innovation and infrastructure projects as part of the City Region Deal, including £200m earmarked for speeding up rail travel between the north-east and central belt
- £315m-worth of investment in town and city centres, including the new international food market under construction on Union Street.
- £4.2bn-worth of transport projects, including ambitious £250m plans to construct a rapid transit scheme in Aberdeen.
- £7.45bn being invested in energy projects, including more than £1bn in the Kintore Hydrogen project alone
- Commercial and residential developments worth £1.75bn, including a 200m expansion of Union Square shopping centre, a £30m project at fish processor Denholm Seafoods and the £137.5m Cloverhill housing development in Bridge of Don
- A further £403m being invested in schools throughout the region as part of a near £1bn investment in health and education
- £368m being invested in sport, leisure and culture, including £32m on developing adventure tourism in the region
Projects delivered since the last tracker include the £420m South Harbour expansion at Port of Aberdeen and ONE BioHub, targeting growth in the region’s life sciences sector.
AGCC chief executive Russell Borthwick said: “Since the first in the series was published in 2016, the tracker has demonstrated, at a glance, the exciting plans for our city region.
“It shows this area has big ambitions for the future and that rumours of the demise of the place that has become Europe’s oil capital are greatly exaggerated.
Aberdeen in top 10 for several key economic indicators
“Our economy remains strong, with Aberdeen consistently ranking in the UK top 10 for foreign direct investment, regional GVA (the gross value added measure of economic growth) per capita and average earnings that are among the UK’s highest.
Mr Borthwick said those not already thinking about business opportunities in the north-east should be.
He added: “We have the backing of both governments to become a globally-significant renewable energy hub, building on 50 years of pioneering energy activities in the North Sea, protecting and creating tens of thousands of high-value jobs.
“At the same time, great progress continues to be made with the sector diversification strategy, stimulating new activities in our other key areas of strength – healthcare, life sciences, digital technologies, food, drink, tourism, agriculture and fisheries.”
One chief executive Jennifer Craw said: “North-east Scotland is confident about its place in the future economy.
“It has a clear purpose in diversification and achieving a just transition to a net-zero economy.
“The approach to economic transformation pioneered here has identified, developed and secured funding, and delivered transformational projects with private sector leadership to boost growth and productivity in established and emerging industries.”
Mrs Craw added: “The message is clear – more investment here will deliver outcomes with a national economic reach.
“One is entering a new investment phase, and, with the right investment, is excited about how much more this region can achieve.”
Aberdeenshire Council leader Mark Findlater, speaking on behalf of inward investment-focused Invest Aberdeen, hailed the region’s ability to “deliver transformational projects and attract investment across key sectors of our economy”.
Mr Findlater continued: “North-east Scotland is a region of innovation and ambition.”