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Scotland's political leaders on the Chamber's election manifesto

NEWS | MARCH 2016

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“They have had to get projects off the ground, to reinvent the city centres and to build iconic buildings and attractions to get themselves on the map and to stimulate growth. “Aberdeen hasn't had to do that, so therefore it hasn't, and maybe what happened with oil and gas prices recently might be the wake-up call Aberdeen needs to start doing some of these things. "Obviously the announcement of the Aberdeen City Region Deal will help with some significant infrastructure to kick-start some of that development and growth." While he says action to secure the city's future may be long overdue, it is never too late. "It would be nice if it had been done when times were good, but the reality is that we are where we are. “I think there is a growing sense of the two local authorities working more cohesively and joining up with the Scottish and UK governments on the priorities for the region." He said we were also fortunate to have Sir Ian Wood "a very passionate and committed advocate of Aberdeen" to lead Opportunity North East (ONE) which will hopefully unlock private sector funding to match the public funding that has been put into the region. "I think this is an opportunity for Aberdeen to look at what happens when oil and gas isn't as significant as it has been. “What does a diversified business base look like? “What should our main activities be in 50 years? “The time is right to start thinking about that so what has been happening has been a good prompt to start that debate. "If we are reinventing what the economy of the region looks like then we need to make

sure the current workforce and the future workforce, the young people in schools and colleges, are encouraged to follow the right career path. “We have to give them the skills and the knowledge they need to actually work in those sectors." He said it was important not to talk down the North-east. "We have a job to do reminding ourselves of all the reasons to be cheerful. "Most cities in the UK would give their eye teeth for the existing economy here, never mind what it was like before. “I think part of our job is to do some work with partners to remind people of all the positives and all the reasons this is still a great place to live, to work and to do business. “It's not been an easy time but there is still a hell of a lot of good stuff we are in danger of forgetting about. “We need to get on the front foot and remind ourselves and other people of all of our strengths. "A number of projects which were rubberstamped in the City Region Deal were exactly the issues called for within the Chamber's 2016 manifesto so our members have told us what they needed, the Chamber has published that and a number of them have been delivered very quickly within the City Region Deal and associated announcements. "We need to accentuate the positives. "One of my reasons for coming to this job and back to this area was to play a part, however small, in making this an even better place to live, work, study, invest and to do business. “If I can manage that then I will be able to retire happy that I have achieved something worthwhile."

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Profile for AGCC

March Business Bulletin  

In the March Business Bulletin we focus on global markets. The Business Bulletin is Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce's monthly magazi...

March Business Bulletin  

In the March Business Bulletin we focus on global markets. The Business Bulletin is Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce's monthly magazi...