Author: Patrick Barnham, ACSEF Communications
23 Mar 2015
Since taking the helm at Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future (ACSEF), Colin Crosby and his colleagues have been working tirelessly to ensure the region remains a crucial global energy hub. “ACSEF is all about ensuring every part of the region has a voice and works together for the good of everybody”, said Crosby. “We are a powerhouse of representatives from business and academia, looking to ensure a collaborative approach to growing the economy and enhancing quality of life.”
Aberdeen City and Shire accounts for around 68 percent of the oil and gas industry’s operational expenditure in the UK, with Scotland as a whole accounting for 79 percent. Bringing the area’s expertise together in a body such as ACSEF allows for a consistent, clear approach to be taken in making the most of opportunities that come forward.
The area can also boast growing tourism, generating £340m annually and providing 18,400 jobs
“Our knowledge and skills are in demand across the globe and this international reach creates jobs, promotes innovation and delivers success to the region and Scotland”, Crosby added. “A diverse range of successful businesses coexist with the energy industry, exporting goods and services across the world. For example, in 2012, GVA from food and drink was approximately £483.6m, the region’s second largest sector, behind energy. In 2014, 37 percent of North East food and drink businesses were exporting and this is set to continue. We also have a vibrant and innovative life sciences industry that has grown into an internationally competitive community of excellence.”
With a significant research base, incorporating the University of Aberdeen’s Institute of Medical Sciences and Rowett Institute, Robert Gordon University, James Hutton Institute, and one of Europe’s largest clinical complexes in the Foresterhill Campus, the region is well placed to support this expanding sector. As well as this, the region has Aberdeen Harbour, supported by Peterhead Port, which generates around £1.5bn GVA and 12,000 jobs for the Scottish economy. Peterhead is also home to Shell’s innovative carbon capture and storage project.
Collaboration and cooperation
The area can also boast growing tourism, generating £340m annually and providing 18,400 jobs. “I believe this success is down to our key strengths of collaboration, knowing our market and building sustainable tourism”, said Crosby. “Our worldwide reputation in oil and gas speaks for itself, with our goods and services being exported to over 100 countries. This experience and knowhow is being built on and shared with other key sectors so they can climb on to our global platform. This helps underpin the strategic direction for the area over the next 10 years”, he added.
“Over that period, we aim for Aberdeen City and Shire to be recognised as one of the most robust and resilient economies in Europe, with a reputation for opportunity, enterprise and inventiveness that will attract world-class talent of all ages”, said Crosby. “We want the region to be the location of choice for high value oil, gas and renewable energy organisations, and a first choice for organisations of all sizes operating in other high value, quality niche markets. To these ends we are vigorously engaging with key players on a regional, national and international level, from business leaders to Scottish and UK government ministers.
“A central plank of this is the development of our internationalisation plan, drawing on the huge pool of experience and talent the region has. There are challenges, but we will continue to innovate, adapt and grow our infrastructure and talent base to retain the region’s crucial role in international business, offering an outstanding location for investment and a huge stable of second-to-none business partners.”