Funding to support the economy in north-east Scotland during the transition to net zero will open for bids next week.
The 10-year, £500 million Just Transition Fund for the North East and Moray will open on May 31, with the ambition to help organisations, businesses, communities and individuals in making the transition process.
This financial year will see £20 million made available. Of that figure, £1 million will be available to directly fund communities through a participatory budgeting mechanism, meaning communities can design and vote on just transition projects.
The funding will also ensure jobs in low carbon industries are created in the region, which is where much of Scotland’s oil and gas industry is based.
Speaking at the Offshore Energies UK Conference in Aberdeen on Tuesday, just transition minister Richard Lochhead said: “It is vital that, as Scotland transitions its society and economy towards a low-carbon, net-zero future, no individual, community or region is left behind.
“A just transition is about ensuring that this economic transformation is managed fairly for workers in existing industries.
“I have said from the outset that my priority is to listen carefully to the people and sectors most impacted, ensuring our approach to a just transition is co-designed.
“That is why I am pleased to be announcing the fund will open following an extensive period of conversation with our partners in the region.”
He added: “I hope there will be a lot of interest in this first year of the fund and look forward to working together to support and accelerate the energy transition; create good, green jobs; and maximise the North East and Moray’s future economic potential.”
Scottish Greens MSP for North East Scotland, Maggie Chapman, added: “The Scottish Greens secured the £500 million Just Transition Fund as a key component of the Bute House Agreement, and I am delighted that communities in the North East will play a role in determining how this fund is allocated.
“As Scotland transitions to a renewable powered economy, it is vital that the workers and communities who have been intrinsic to the success of the oil and gas sector for decades are at the forefront of designing Scotland’s industrial future.”