Aberdeen must continue to be bold and embrace partnership opportunities for the city and wider region to prosper.
That is the message from specialist adviser Dougie Peedle on the eve of publication of the second annual report by the independent panel formed to advise on the Granite City’s economic performance.
Mr Peedle, previously chief economic adviser to the States of Jersey, is a member of the Aberdeen Economic Policy Panel alongside Professor Graeme Roy, director of the Fraser of Allander Institute, and Hanan Morsy, lead economist for the southern and eastern Mediterranean region at the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development.
The trio will reveal their findings tomorrow at the State of the Cities Conference at P&J Live in Aberdeen as key partners gather to plot the next phase in the implementation of a regional economic strategy.
Mr Peedle said: “The independent panel was formed as part of Aberdeen’s response to the economic challenges the region has faced and to support Aberdeen City Council’s annual credit rating review in relation to the 2016 bond issue.
“The inaugural report and conference in 2018 was well received and the feedback we had as a panel was very positive.
“As independent advisers we are objective about the issues and the opportunities facing Aberdeen, and a number of recommendations were made last year across a broad range of areas.
“There was a particular focus on the unique challenges facing the Aberdeen economy, and the importance of diversification to support inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
“What came through loud and clear… was the importance of innovation and of collaboration in driving the regional economy.
“Partnerships are already being embraced, particularly in the way the private and public sector is working together, but there are also opportunities to broaden that approach.”
The panel has spent the past year collating data and gathering evidence. Mr Peedle said: “We’re looking forward to sharing our research this week with a knowledgeable and engaged audience.”
Sir Howard Bernstein, who led Manchester’s transformation as chief executive of the city’s council from 1998 to 2017, is the keynote speaker at tomorrow’s conference.
He will be joined by Oil and Gas UK chief executive Deirdre Michie and Core Cities director Chris Murray in addressing delegates during a programme that will include a panel discussion with civic leaders.