An ambitious new five-year strategy for the north-east’s economy has been unanimously backed by city councillors.
In December, 2015, the authority approved the Regional Economic Strategy for the North East of Scotland – which set out to provide a long-term vision for the region to 2035.
Yesterday, members of the city’s growth committee endorsed a refresh of the strategy, which lasts from 2018-2023.
Major challenges have been identified in diversifying the north-east’s economy away from the traditionally dominant oil and gas sectors into new developing industries.
While the new plan still has focus on fossil fuels, the emerging sectors of food, drink, tourism and life sciences are given a fresh impetus.
Traditional industries, such as fishing and farming, will also be supported, with a focus given on boosting transport links to allow them to flourish.
A massive roll-out of new digital technology will also be required to keep the region ahead of the curve in Scotland, while retaining university graduates in the north-east and increasing international trade are also identified.
Council co-leader Douglas Lumsden said: “Collaboration will be crucial to realising our economic ambitions for the city and the region – and the strategy itself is a very good demonstration of that principle.
“The strategy has been prepared in conjunction with Aberdeenshire Council and Opportunity North East (ONE) to ensure a joined-up approach with realistic and achievable outcomes.
“The significant strides that have been made since the launch of the strategy in 2015 demonstrate the appetite for progress and the ability to deliver.
“The refresh takes into account the developments in that period and the objectives for the next phase.
“Maximising the oil and gas opportunity, strengthening and diversifying the economy and continuing to attract investment and talent will be vital elements of the action plan going forward.
“The emphasis on partnership working extends to the private sector and the response we have had has been very encouraging.
“There is an energy and a commitment throughout the region to ensuring we do not rest on our laurels and continue to push for economic growth that will benefits residents and businesses alike locally as well as the economy nationally.”