New development strategy launched

Pictured at the launch of Aberdeenshire Council's Economic Development Strategy are (from left) Cllr Jill Webster, Cllr Peter Argyle, Darcy Technologies financial controller Stephen Dempster and the firm's technology implementation manager, Mark Presslie.
Pictured at the launch of Aberdeenshire Council's Economic Development Strategy are (from left) Cllr Jill Webster, Cllr Peter Argyle, Darcy Technologies financial controller Stephen Dempster and the firm's technology implementation manager, Mark Presslie.

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 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 so 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 through close working with businesses and communities across the area.”

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.”

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 in the strategy.

Among industry objectives are the development of a more sustainable fisheries industry, and assisting those supporting agriculture, forestry and timber.

The council has also committed to working with partners to deliver Energetica as a low carbon energy hub, with a series of plans concerning key infrastructure projects.

Other objectives include ensuring Aberdeenshire is known as a supportive business environment that nurtures home-grown businesses, and that communities are supported to develop self-sufficiency and ensure opportunities for all.

The strategy was launched at the premises of Darcy Technologies at Kintore Business Park.