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This is the Aberdeen city region. The north-east has a new story to tell. From music hall to harbour, brew house to art house, science lab to shoreline; there is a huge amount happening. Our area, with a proud and global history, has an astounding future.

We remain, of course, the oil and gas capital of Europe. However, as 2019 unfolds, Aberdeen and the wider region around it is celebrating a series of events, investments and new openings that show how broad, modern and vibrant our area is, including in the field of energy where we continue to be a world leader. What’s in the pipeline? Everything from the re-opening of our magnificent art gallery to new investments in areas of industry like food, drink, digital and life sciences. Our new events complex, TECA, opens its doors later this year. Major developments are breaking ground at the harbour and the airport. And once again Nuart will bring the very best in contemporary street art to Aberdeen.



There are chapters in the north-east’s new story. One is focused on knowledge and innovation, and on the waves of opportunity that break out from our two award-winning universities. Scotland is famous, of course, for its passion for learning but here in the Granite City we think we are a place where ideas become action. Bright minds and people with energy? Here our region also wins through. The area is a magnet for talented and dynamic folk from far and wide. Who can blame them? We’ve got good schools, a bustling city centre, a beautiful coastline and countryside on the doorstep; there are big skies and fresh, clean air. It is a great place to call home and a tough place to leave once you’ve arrived.

Together, we should take a new and positive look at the north-east, its future and how people and organisations from all walks of life and all sectors are working together as never before to make sure the great city region that we love gets even better and stronger in the future. Are you proud of what’s happening across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire? Of course. Do you want to shout about it? Naturally. Will some amazing facts about our region help you be part of sharing the story? Abzolutely.



SUPPORTING ABERDEEN’S RENAISSANCE Clydesdale Bank has been proudly serving the business community of Scotland for over 180 years. In that time, the bank has helped produce many firsts in Scottish and UK banking – from being one of the first to introduce cash machines in the UK in 1970 to launching Scotland’s first polymer banknote in 2015. Aberdeen city region is close to the bank’s heart and Clydesdale supports the vision of renaissance and diversification. Oil, gas and energy is embedded in Clydesdale’s local DNA, the bank has a long history of supporting the food, drink and agriculture sectors, and is growing its involvement in the ever-important fishing sector.


In 2019, Clydesdale is turning its attention to further developing the link between supporting local businesses, the tourism sector and the potential to grow the life sciences sector. Clydesdale takes great pride in the small to medium enterprises it supports and believes it is important to understand the businesses it works with in order to provide the right banking solutions at the right time. This helps customers to meet their business needs, challenges and ambitions. And Clydesdale Bank is proud to play even a small part in their success.


DID YOU KNOW? Aberdeenshire is the UK’s only entry on the New York Times global list of 52-must-see places in 2019. We have the fifth fastest-growing city economy in the UK. A purple flag confirms we are one of Scotland’s safest night time destinations.

The role of mosquitos in spreading malaria was discovered by Aberdeenshire physician Sir Patrick Manson. Aberdeenshire is a global centre for underwater technologies with 75% of the world’s subsea engineering capability based here.

Our climate is warmer than the Scottish average and we enjoy half the annual rainfall of Miami.

Our coastline was voted one of the 20 most iconic landscapes in the world by National Geographic, with 208km of unspoilt coastline and eight beaches on our doorstep.

There are more castles per acre in Aberdeenshire than anywhere else in the British Isles.

The Capitol has been voted the best new office development outside of central London.

The world’s first floating windfarm can be found off our coast.

Aberdeen is the best location in the UK to start a business.

Peterhead Port lands the most white fish in Europe while Fraserburgh lands the highest amount of shellfish in the UK.

Around a quarter of all Scotland’s food and drink exports come from the north-east.

Aberdonian inventor and energy pioneer Robert Davidson built the world’s first known electric locomotive here – in 1837.


The self-seal envelope was invented by an Aberdonian. 5


From high on the east coast of Scotland, the Aberdeen city region has, and continues to, punch above its weight. We’re open to the world. We may be known as Europe’s oil and gas capital, but we are so much more. We are at the forefront of a global energy transition to a lower carbon world. We are recognised as an important centre for life sciences. Our health research is world-leading. And we are home to food and drink brands that are enjoyed right across the planet. We’ve always been enterprising. Established back in 1136, Aberdeen Harbour Board is Britain’s oldest registered company. The fact is that, from our waterfront, we have always reached beyond our shores. And now with a £350 million investment in our harbour, we are reaffirming its place at the very heart of our city region. And it’s not just a history of oil and gas. The north-east has moved seamlessly into scientific, engineering, digital and low carbon specialisms. The city has one of the largest concentrations of life scientists in Europe and the largest biologics cluster in the UK after Cambridge. Perhaps there’s something in our culture that has always made it a magnet for global innovators; the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University have produced entrepreneurs, world business leaders and no fewer than five Nobel Prize winners have been associated with the region. That drive and dynamism continues apace, and today we have Europe’s largest single-site health campus carrying out ground breaking research into cures for contemporary diseases. Its pioneering healthcare research earned the University of Aberdeen the Queen’s Anniversary Prize: the most prestigious honour an academic institution can receive. Aberdeen faces forward. It’s a place that gets on with it. We’re a small European city region with a big personality. We don’t wait to see what others are doing and how they’re doing it; we drive on with the business of innovation and don’t stop when we hit the coast, we go further, faster.




GOODBYE CALIFORNIA. HELLO ABERDEEN. Scotland had always been high on Jason Pond’s wish list of places to live. When the chance to take up the role of head of production at BrewDog arose, Jason and his family made the easy decision to move from California to a new life in Aberdeen.

"BrewDog modelled itself on making the type of beers favoured in the US. That is what founders Martin (Dickie) and James (Watt) liked to drink. That is what they were passionate about. And that is what attracted me to Brewdog. They don’t accept the way things are, but try make it how it should be."

BrewDog, with its exponential growth, is keeping Jason busy. Before moving to Aberdeen, he spent time helping the craft beer brand set up its brewhouse in Columbus, Ohio. And although the Ellon facility is now his main responsibility, he is also helping the company to establish new brewhouses in Australia, China and South Korea and installing smaller brew systems in BrewDog’s growing international network of pubs.



Whether you come from near or far, the Aberdeen area is a great place to be.

Aberdeen was recently named one of the best Scottish cities in which to live and work in the Good Growth for Cities Index. Our quality of life is built around good value homes and top schools, but also a love of the great outdoors, wide open spaces, a passion for culture and a true sense of community. As part of the 25-year masterplan to create a more vibrant city centre, £37 million is being invested in Aberdeen Art Gallery and Music Hall, part of our distinctive cultural offer and amazing platforms for both global and local artists. There is always something happening. A packed events programme covers everything from contemporary art and music, to light installations and dance. Sports and outdoor pursuits are also a key feature of our downtime. There are a range of top-tier events such as the Great Aberdeen Run, the Tour Series Cycling and Premier League football. Just minutes from the city, there is the Cairngorms National Park and a stunning coastline – part of which was voted one of the world’s most iconic landscapes by National Geographic – and more castles per acre than anywhere else in the British Isles. For those who choose to live here, this great quality of life is a critical factor. It’s why we’re a magnet for talent and why we were recently named as one of the best cities in the UK for European expats to live in. If you’re lucky enough to call this area home, you won’t need convincing. It’s a place you quite simply won’t want to leave.




CELEBRATING STREET ART The award-winning Nuart Aberdeen plays host to artists who use the walls of the city centre as their canvas for world-class street art murals and installations. The annual contemporary festival started in Stavanger, Norway, in 2001 and came to Aberdeen in 2017. The two cities share a legacy of being gateways to the North Sea and its oil fields. Now they share an energy around celebrating art that has its roots in graffiti, murals, comic culture, stencil art and activism.

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: "Nuart Aberdeen has left an incredible legacy in our city already and we can’t wait to bring it back in April. Already it has changed the perceptions of both locals and visitors to Aberdeen and achieved worldwide acclaim."

Brought to the city by Aberdeen Inspired and Aberdeen City Council, with support from partners, there is a commitment to keep Nuart Aberdeen in the area until at least 2020.



Aberdeen is a can-do place, actively investing in its future. The north-east’s bold investment portfolio spans dozens of major projects that will come to fruition between now and 2030, many of which are due in the immediate future. For starters, key development projects will transform the look of the city, with around £4 billion being invested in transport. Part of this is a major £350 million harbour expansion programme. One of the UK’s largest marine infrastructure projects for many decades, it will provide direct to quayside access for the largest liners on the planet. And when it comes to skills, knowledge and research, Aberdeen is enhancing its standing as a city of enterprise and innovation. Investment is underway to create the ONE Tech Hub for digital and entrepreneurship activity in the city centre. The investment by Opportunity North East (ONE), in partnership with digital tech incubator CodeBase and Robert Gordon University, is part of activity to develop a vibrant community of tech companies in the city with an ecosystem to accelerate their growth and global ambition. Our city region deal is delivering investment to catalyse growth across the north-east’s key industry sectors. This partnership between Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, ONE and the UK and Scottish Governments, is delivering £250 million of funding for innovation hubs – including The Oil & Gas Technology Centre, a Bio Hub for life sciences and a Food Hub for food and drink manufacturing – and digital infrastructure, making Aberdeen Scotland’s first gigabit city and one of the world’s best connected cities by 2021. Projects within the deal total more than £868 million of investment in the region’s economic future. Aberdeen has the pride, passion and a relentless desire to progress, improve and adapt for the future. And it’s underpinning that pride and passion with the money and resources needed to make that future happen.




THE NEW VENUE FOR EXCEPTIONAL EVENTS The Event Complex Aberdeen (TECA) is Scotland’s new £333 million events venue – the single biggest investment in entertainment, conferencing and exhibition facilities in the UK. Delivered by Aberdeen City Council, it boasts 48,000 square metres of world-class events space, including a 12,500-capacity arena.

TECA also has the capacity to host meetings of national and international bodies and associations, attracted by our economic and academic strengths. In fact, one of the first events will be the biennial SPE Offshore Europe, underpinning the city’s position as the energy capital of Europe.

Shows already booked include comedians Russell Howard and Jack Whitehall, Alice Cooper supported by The Stranglers and music legend Elton John, who will perform his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour over two nights in Aberdeen in 2020.

TECA is close to Aberdeen International Airport and the city bypass and will attract increasing numbers of visitors from local, national and international markets. The venue will also have the lowest environmental impact of any such facility in the UK due to its energy centre which will be showcasing renewable energies.


Bold investments. A bright future. This is the Aberdeen city region. £8.4 billion committed to projects in the north-east

2019 ABERDEEN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Phase 3 including catering, shops and more departure lounge space

ABERDEEN TO INVERNESS RAIL IMPROVEMENTS Including a new station at Kintore

ONE TECH HUB Focal point for digital company cluster growth and entrepreneurship

ABERDEEN FOOTBALL CLUB PHASE 1 Training campus, youth development academy and community hub

THE EVENT COMPLEX ABERDEEN (TECA) Encompassing 48,000 square metres of world class events space

ABERDEEN ART GALLERY Additional gallery space to accommodate international exhibitions

THE POINT Grade A student accommodation and associated facilities





Phases 1 & 2 including new reclaim area, passport control and lounges

£16.5MILLION HYWIND World’s first floating windfarm off the coast of Peterhead

£229MILLION SANDMAN HOTEL 218 bedroom boutique hotel with extensive meeting and conference facilities


£35MILLION THE ROYAL STATION AT BALLATER New tearoom, waiting room, library and VisitScotland information centre

£3.5MILLION PETERHEAD PORT Increase in industrial and commercial space



£51MILLION ABERDEEN WESTERN PERIPHERAL ROUTE Construction of a dual carriageway peripheral route and dualling of the A90 between Balmedie and Tipperty

£745MILLION+ BROAD STREET & MARISCHAL SQUARE Transformation into a pedestrian-priority space with hotel, office and leisure facilities


For the full timeline of upcoming projects in the region see Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce’s Investment Tracker at

Renovation to develop new studio, renovation of auditorium and new box office

£7MILLION Plus new schools, medical centres and other amenities 13


The north-east is a place that knows how to adapt and thrive. And there is a plan to ensure our future prosperity. The future economy of the Aberdeen city region will not rise or fall on the price of a barrel. No longer just an oil and gas capital, we are becoming a world class all-energy hub utilising the expertise, transferable skills and supply chain in the region. Symbols of this great transition are the world’s first floating windfarm by Equinor; Vattenfall’s offshore wind test and research centre; and NorthConnect, a £1.5 billion project providing an electricity link between Scotland and Norway to increase the use of renewable power. For oil and gas the story’s far from over. There’s up to 20 billion barrels still in the North Sea and the industry’s Vision 2035 aims to unlock £920 billion for the UK economy. The new £360 million Oil & Gas Technology Centre is a melting pot of industry-led research and knowledge, developing innovative projects to realise the remaining potential of the North Sea and to connect Scottish and UK technology developers to global opportunities, including the long term opportunity of decommissioning. Aberdeen’s economic strategy will build on wider strengths and buoyant sectors such as health, tourism and food and drink. Our two highly successful universities are key to this continued prosperity. The University of Aberdeen was recently named Scottish University of the Year by the Times and Sunday Times, while the Robert Gordon University was awarded Gold for Teaching Excellence and is fourth in the UK for employability. Aberdeen means business and has a vital economic future ahead. Built on talent, underpinned by new infrastructure and powered by science and innovation, this is the new Aberdeen, the granite heart of a renaissance region.




A MAGNET FOR TALENT Sasha Jaypalan originally came to Aberdeen as a helicopter pilot, when a downturn in the oil and gas industry saw him shift gears. He moved into recruitment in 2012 and has not looked back. A return to London coincided with setting up a specialist IT and digital recruitment company. The people of Aberdeen – and the rolling green hills of Aberdeenshire – were always calling him back. Four years later Sasha, his wife and three children moved back to the area.

He said: "Aberdeen is a dynamic city with the charm of a village which is great for businesses trying to grow. Travelling around here is easy – I am in the city most days of the week. It is also easy to get to Edinburgh and Glasgow, while flights from Aberdeen airport mean I can be in meetings in London and Birmingham for 9am. "If you are trying to think about where your business can grow, where your kids can thrive and where the quality of life is good – for me, Aberdeen is a great option."

Even with the UK’s economic downturn, Aberdeen still boasts a highly successful economy. Sasha set up Grace May - IT Recruitment, which is based in the Banchory Business Park and has ambitions to grow along with the burgeoning digital sector.


The Aberdeen city region is already a great place to live, work, study, visit, invest and do business but one which isn’t sitting on its laurels. There is significant investment being made to deliver the infrastructure, regeneration and cultural activity to create a truly 21st century environment, right here, right now. @ABZOLUTELYABZ

Tell us what you love about the Aberdeen city region. Be #ABZOLUTELYPROUD

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Abzolutely Aberdeen