Over 100 senior industry leaders, academics, politicians and business owners have signed a statement in support of the North East Scotland Green Freeport bid which will create 32,000 high-quality jobs and boost GVA by £8.5 billion over the next decade.
Sir Ian Wood (ETZ Ltd Chairman), Martin Gilbert (Chairman of Net Zero Technology Centre & founder of Aberdeen Asset Management), Sian Lloyd Rees (UK Managing Director, Aker Offshore Wind), Stewart Milne (Executive Chairman, Stewart Milne Homes), Sir Jim Milne (Chairman, Balmoral Group) and Deborah O’Neill (CEO, Novabiotics) are among the signatories stating that Scottish Government and UK Government backing for the bid would reposition the North East of Scotland as the Net Zero Capital of Europe.
North East Scotland Green Freeport is a collaborative venture between Port of Aberdeen, Peterhead Port Authority, Aberdeen International Airport, Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council bidding for green freeport status from the Scottish Government and UK Government.
The letter is also signed by senior representatives of the region’s diverse energy sector and supporting supply chain (bp, Shell, px Group, Proserv, Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group), premium food and drink sector (Strachans, Farmlay Eggs), its emerging life sciences industry (Novabiotics) and a host of SMEs from across the North East. Taken together the signatories of the letter represent businesses that employ over 20,000 people across the region.
Lending their support to the bid include 11 North East parliamentarians of both the SNP and Conservative parties and the leadership of both Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils. The Principals of the University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University and North East Scotland College have also thrown their weight behind the bid.
Consortium bid partner and Port of Aberdeen CEO, Bob Sanguinetti said: “We’re delighted to have united the region behind our ambition to reposition the North East of Scotland as the Net Zero Capital of Europe. With the backing of the Scottish Government and UK Government, we will continue to make a crucial contribution to national energy security and international competitiveness.
“The breadth of support for the bid is incredible, from SMEs to multinationals and across all the region’s key sectors. These types of existing businesses will be supported to invest, innovate, and develop skills as well as attract new investment to deliver a wide range of pioneering new projects.
“Improving the lives of local people and communities is fundamental to the North East Scotland Green Freeport bid. We’ll create thousands of high-quality jobs and opportunities for those that need them most, stimulate local and wider regeneration and amplify the value of the Green Freeport investment to level up deprived communities, enabling and accelerating a just transition.”
Consortium bid partner and Peterhead Port Authority CEO, Simon Brebner said: “Peterhead Port has been at the heart of the region’s success – whether that be via its pre-eminent position as Europe’s leading fishing port, or via trade or energy – for the last 400 years and is committed to working alongside our partners to ensure a successful conclusion to our bid.
“We are all aware how important this is to the North-east of Scotland and UK plc. We can be the focus and facilitator for the world in the energy transition and achieving carbon net zero, and also help our fabulous food and drink sector, particularly seafood, expand its reach further across the globe.”
The statement of support reads:
“For over fifty years, the North East of Scotland has made a crucial contribution to Scottish and UK energy security and international competitiveness.
“There is now a unique opportunity to usher in a new era of accelerated regeneration, decarbonisation, innovation and investment, creating 32,000 high quality jobs and opportunities for those who need them most.
“With Scottish and UK Government backing, the North East Scotland Green Freeport can boost GVA by £8.5billion over the next decade and transform the region into the Net Zero Capital of Europe.”
Further information about how to back the bid can be found at www.northeastscotlandgreenfreeport.com. Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce is also drafting an open letter of support which businesses can sign to demonstrate support. Further information is available at www.agcc.co.uk.