ABERDEEN, UK – Opportunity North East (ONE) is a new private sector initiative designed to sustain the future of four industry sectors in northeast Scotland. These include oil and gas.
ONE’s economic leadership board, chaired by Sir Ian Wood, comes mainly from the private sector but will have representatives from Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils, the principals of the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University, and a senior Scottish Enterprise representative.
Sir Ian said: “ONE is the private sector’s response to the challenge of transforming our economy. Significant under-investment in infrastructure, both physical and digital, a high cost of living and an economy dominated by oil and gas have combined to present us with a major challenge.
“The current downturn in oil and gas has cast the issues we face into even sharper relief and there are essentially two routes ahead. A renaissance which sees us revitalize the region’s economy or a slow decline towards becoming a museum for the golden age of North Sea oil and gas.
“The business community is increasingly aware of the bleak prospect that could face us if we don’t get our act together now and take concerted action to secure a sustainable and balanced economy in the future. ONE will therefore target its actions on sector-specific projects of scale – leveraging additional resources from the public and private sectors – which will realize the greatest returns for the region in the future, in terms of economic growth and employment.”
ONE is being established with a co-investment fund of up to £25 million ($37 million) from The Wood Foundation, designed to catalyze and facilitate co-investment from Scottish Enterprise and other public and private sector sources.
Sir Ian will chair ONE Oil & Gas with a focus on North Sea oil and gas, sustaining the local supply chain for the long term, developing and exporting skills, knowledge, technology, and expertise.
Another goal is to develop Aberdeen’s potential as a major source of technology and research and development, mainly through the establishment of a new Oil and Gas Technology Center.