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Strategic Infrastructure Plan to secure city’s economic future
Major infrastructure projects which could create up to 25,000 new jobs in Aberdeen, and potential methods of funding them, will be investigated by Aberdeen City Council.
Members of the Full Council unanimously agreed proposals to deliver a Strategic Infrastructure Plan which will identify and prioritise infrastructure projects to support the delivery of the Community Plan; Strategic Development Plan; Local Development Plan; Aberdeen a Smarter City; and the Cultural Strategy, by autumn.
The Strategic Infrastructure Plan will identify and prioritise projects, or portfolios of projects, which will address the gaps in Aberdeen's infrastructure now and in the future.
The city remains one of the leading drivers of the UK economy. Interest in Aberdeen as an investment opportunity has accelerated since the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route. The council has received planning applications for major developments which could deliver 15,000-25,000 for Aberdeen over the next few years.
Aberdeen is recognised as one of the few places in the UK where real opportunity for growth exists. Work to identify and prioritise those infrastructure projects which will support the delivery of the plans, and ways of funding them will now be carried out.
A detailed Strategic Infrastructure Plan will be developed to deliver the infrastructure opportunities available to the city and outline the need to create a visualisation of how Aberdeen can look once the plan is fully implemented.
The visualisation will pull together the aspirations set out by the council in the Community Plan, Strategic Development Plan, Local Development Plan, Aberdeen a Smarter City, and the Cultural Strategy and will focus on key areas including the city centre, airport, harbour, major housing developments and proposed business parks, including Energetica, for the next 20 years. It will also seek to identify areas where the city's needs are not being met and help define Aberdeen's infrastructure goals for the next 20 years.
Members of the council's Corporate Management Team have been working independently and with ACSEF (Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future) to investigate innovative but secure ways of funding infrastructure projects, including housing, business parks, cultural assets, roads, bridges and digital connectivity.
Discussions have been held with a variety of potential funders, including the UK Treasury (Infrastructure UK), the Scottish Futures Trust, the European Investment Bank, oil and gas firms, banks, pension funds, insurance companies, and the North Hub partners, as well as international accounting firms and legal advisors who are looking at the issue on a wider basis.
All options for funding the infrastructure projects will be considered, including loans, private sector funding, bonds, and tax incremental financing, joint ventures, local asset-backed vehicles, and trading company/limited liability partnership models of delivery.
Two one-day Aberdeen Futures summits will be held to ensure that all those interested in the future of the city can be involved in the creation of the Strategic Infrastructure Plan.