Mark McDonald MSP said:
“The announcement that there will be substantial additional investment from the Scottish Government in the area over and above the agreed Aberdeen City Region Deal and a billion pounds of on-going investment is a sign of the SNP Government’s strong commitment to the future of the North East of Scotland
The Scottish Government are quite rightly going beyond the City Deal Agreement and this unprecedented and historic level of investment will ensure that Aberdeen continues to be one of the world’s leading cities for business and industry and an area that drives forward future growth and prosperity.
“However, we must not forget there is still a need for a comprehensive support package to be put in place for the offshore sector in the upcoming UK wide budget which will support the industry over the period of low oil prices and I call on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to remember the North East of Scotland when he goes to the dispatch box this March. Aberdeen and the North East have paid in billions to the treasury over the years and this should be recognised.”
The Scottish Government will invest, over the same 5-10 year time span as the City Region deal, an additional £254 million in the North East’s infrastructure.
The funding, is in addition to the Scottish Government’s commitment to 50:50 funding of the Aberdeen City Deal.
It will be targeted towards the delivery of improved transport and digital connectivity and local housing programmes requested by the local authorities.
The Scottish Government is already providing over £1 billion to the area and only this week confirmed the construction of a new secondary school in Inverurie.
Existing investment in the North East area includes £170 million for the railways (Aberdeen to Inverness), £37 million in Inverurie Academy and £745 million in the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route showing the value and on-going commitment of the Scottish Government to communities in the North East.
The First Minister will visit Aberdeen on Monday for meetings with the oil and gas industry where she will make a further announcement of Scottish government action to support innovation, exploration, skills and access to finance for the North Sea industry.
The extra funding being announced by the Scottish Government will help make a step change to the economy of the North East, through;
- An initial £200 million additional funding to help improve journey times and increase capacity on key rail links between Aberdeen and the Central Belt.
- £24 million of funding for the trunk roads programme to support improvements to the key A90/A937 south junction at Laurencekirk.
- £10 million for extension of digital infrastructure in the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire area above and beyond the commitment through the City Deal.
- £20 million in infrastructure funding to unlock housing sites that are of strategic importance to the local authorities as well as 5 year certainty on £130 million of affordable housing grant