Economic development strategy launched

A WIDE-RANGING strategy outlining Aberdeenshire Council’s key economic development objectives for the area over the next five years has been launched.

The document, already underway, sets out a total of 10 key objectives for delivery up to 2016.

These focus on the ‘priority industries’ of energy, food and drink, tourism, agriculture and fisheries, along with ‘priorities for strategic change’ relating to Energetica, enterprise and communities.

Cllr Peter Argyle, chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “The strategy guides the council’s work in supporting industries and businesses through direct business support, assisting business sectors important to the local economy and encouraging infrastructure investment that will help the economy of the region flourish. While Aberdeenshire’s economy has been resilient we cannot ignore the wider economic situation and must continue to strive to grow and diversify our local economy.

“It is an ambitious strategy, but one I believe will bring great benefits for Aberdeenshire and the north-east.”

Committee vice-chair, Cllr Jill Webster, said: “The strategy also puts more emphasis on tourism and energy than the previous strategy. Tourism work will include making the most of new air links to Germany to grow the number of German visitors to the area, and there are also aims to increase the quality and quantity of tourist accommodation in Aberdeenshire. Energy objectives include anchoring the oil and gas sector to the north-east, ensuring Aberdeenshire is a location of choice for renewable energy, and supporting communities through renewable energy schemes.”

Ensuring Aberdeenshire is a recognised major contributor to helping Scotland become known as the ‘Land of Food and Drink’ and promoting Aberdeen City and Shire as a key tourism destination are also highlighted.