We’re open for business

Councillor Jim Gifford : "We're open for business..."
Councillor Jim Gifford : "We're open for business..."

The leader of Aberdeenshire Council has reassured the local business community of the authority’s belief in the area’s economic future, highlighting hundreds of millions of pounds of future investment.

Speaking ahead of an economic summit in the north east tomorrow ( Friday), Councillor Jim Gifford emphasised the council’s commitment to developing local infrastructure.

He has encouraged local business to get involved to ensure that projects reflect local need and ambition.

With planned capital infrastructure investment of over £400 million up to 2016, Cllr Gifford said the council is doing its bit to support a healthy local economy.

Spending will include £186 million on schools and education, £122million on roads and transportation and £18 million on sports and culture.

While Aberdeenshire appears to be weathering the current financial storm better than most, due to the buoyancy of the oil and gas sector, Mr Gifford said he and his colleagues will continue to engage with local businesses and communities to ensure everyone is working to the same purpose.

Economic development is one of Aberdeenshire Council’s key priorities and the spending includes new secondary schools, at Alford, six new primary schools, investment in the council’s industrial portfolio, as well as new leisure facilities and care homes.

He was speaking ahead of the ACSEF Economic Summit, entitled “securing investment for success”, a forum for the public and private sectors.

Cllr Gifford said: “The large sums we are committed to spending in Aberdeenshire over the next three to four years are a clear indication of the council’s commitment to developing the area and its economy into the future.

“Economic development is one of our main priorities and we’re putting our money where our mouth is to make sure this area remains vibrant and continues to grow.

“Despite downturns and news of doom and gloom elsewhere in Scotland, we’re optimistic about this area and want investors to be as well.

“That’s why we’re committing so much to the area’s infrastructure and in revitalising our towns and villages, leading the way and committing funding to work which will benefit everyone.

“Aberdeenshire is very much open for business and as a council with many business people as elected members, we know what the business community wants. That doesn’t mean we won’t listen to them in the future though, as we need to take them along with us, sharing and achieving a vision for a prosperous future.”