The first report by an independent panel formed to help shape Aberdeen’s economic future will be published next week at a conference bringing together experts from throughout Britain.
The inaugural State of the Cities Conference on Friday 2 November will provide the platform for the launch.
Aberdeen City Council formed the Economic Policy Panel in 2017 with a remit of evaluation and advising on the economic performance of the city and the region.
A national recruitment exercise led to the appointment of Stephen Boyle, Dr Hanan Morsy and Douglas Peedle. Mr Boyle is the Chief Economist at the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, Dr Morsy is the Lead Economist (Southern and Eastern Mediterranean) for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Mr Peedle is Chief Economic Adviser to the States of Jersey.
The first annual report set to provide a barometer of the progress in implementing the ambitious Regional Economic Strategy and its publication will be at the heart of the State of the Cities Conference.
The event, hosted by Aberdeen City Council and taking place at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre between 9.30am and 1.30pm, will feature keynote presentations from some of the UKs leading economists and discussions on Aberdeen’s economic future.
Keynote speakers include Dr Hanan Morsy and Douglas Peedle, Senator Lyndon Farnham (States of Jersey and Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture), Chris Murray (Director of Core Cities UK) and Cllr Jenny Laing (Co-Leader of Aberdeen City Council).
The presentations and panel discussions will focus on mechanisms for driving investment and delivering positive change for cities as well as the economic leadership of Aberdeen.
Cllr Laing said: “The State of the Cities Conference and the publication of the panel’s first report is an important date for Aberdeen and the city region. It is an opportunity for reflection on the findings of the panel but also to look forward and plan for the future, with our ambitions for a strong and diversified economy well documented.
“As a local authority we are working closely with stakeholders in the region to deliver on our economic goals and can point towards important milestones. The Aberdeen City Region Deal, worth in excess of £826million over its lifespan, the success of the Council’s £370m bond issue and the wider £1billion capital programme we are delivering represent significant elements of the long term strategy.
“The recent launch of Invest Aberdeen, the ongoing work on the Aberdeen Harbour expansion and the forthcoming opening of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route are also part of that vision to encourage diversification and internationalisation in our regional economy through partnership working.
“Aberdeen’s economy became the focus of national and international attention when the oil and gas downturn began to bite. The Council and the city have shown tremendous resilience in the intervening period and has gone on the front foot – but there is no complacency, we will continue to innovate and take positive action.”
Chris Murray, Director of Core cities UK, said: “Rather than resting on the success of recent years, through this conference and report Aberdeen are taking a proactive approach to delivering a stronger future economy for their city and surrounding area. Many of the building blocks of success are already in place, including through their City Deal, but history tells us that those cities that have a strong desire to look over the horizon to the challenges of tomorrow as well as today tend to do best. This event is an opportunity for Aberdeen to do exactly that, and I look forward to debating their ideas on the day.”
Senator Lyndon Farnham, States of Jersery and Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport & Culture, said: “I’m delighted to be speaking at this landmark conference organised by Aberdeen City Council. There are clear synergies between the work that we have been doing in Jersey to develop a diversified economy and drive inward investment, and the plans that are being created for Aberdeen’s economic future. I look forward to sharing some of the lessons we have learned and building closer links with the city.”
The full programme and booking details are available at: www.bit.ly/ABDNstateofthecities .