Mackay to pro­mote £150m ur­ban quar­ter to in­vestors

De­vel­op­ment: Fi­nance sec­re­tary to show­case Aberdeen project in Lon­don

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - LOCAL NEWS - BY KEITH FIND­LAY

A £150mil­lion plan for a new “ur­ban quar­ter” in the heart of Aberdeen – part of the city mas­ter­plan – is one of three Scot­tish projects be­ing pitched to in­vestors at an event hosted by Derek Mackay in Lon­don to­day.

The fi­nance sec­re­tary will high­light the Gran­ite City scheme, along with pro­posed de­vel­op­ments in Glas­gow and Ren­frew­shire, at a busi­ness break­fast at Scot­land House in the cap­i­tal.

Plans for the Aberdeen project, Queen’s Square, were first un­veiled nearly two years ago.

Mr Mackay will present all three Scot­tish projects as at­trac­tive op­por­tu­ni­ties for a tar­geted au­di­ence of UK and for­eign in­vestors, in­ter­me­di­aries and “lead­ing de­ci­sion-mak­ers”.

To­day’s event is the sec­ond of its kind at Scot­land House in a push by three or­gan­i­sa­tions - Scot­tish De­vel­op­ment In­ter­na­tional (SDI), the Scot­tish Cities Al­liance and Scot­tish Prop­erty Fed­er­a­tion - to pool eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment ef­fort.

Mr Mackay said: “With more than 2,300 for­eignowned com­pa­nies em­ploy­ing a to­tal of 317,000 staff here and real­is­ing a com­bined turnover of £86bil­lion, for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment plays a vi­tal role in Scot­land’s econ­omy.

“A re­cent study re­ported that for every £1 spent on at­tract­ing in­ward in­vest­ment, £9 is gen­er­ated for our econ­omy.

“At­tract­ing in­ward in­vest­ment is a key pri­or­ity for the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment – some­thing which as­sumes even more im­por­tance in light of Brexit – and is one of the aims of our Trade and In­vest­ment Strat­egy.

“The events at Scot­land House, our in­no­va­tion and in­vest­ment hub in Lon­don, bring to­gether se­nior in­vestors, fund man­agers and de­ci­sion-mak­ers to hear more about the ben­e­fits of in­vest­ing in Scot­land.”

SDI in­terim man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Neil Fran­cis added: “Much of Scot­land’s suc­cess in at­tract­ing in­ter­na­tional in­vest­ment comes from the strength of our con­nected cities and com­pet­i­tive busi­ness en- vi­ron­ment, and to­gether with the Scot­tish Cities Al­liance we are ac­tively en­gag­ing with tar­get au­di­ences in Lon­don and fur­ther afield to pro­mote Scot­land to in­ter­na­tional in­flu­encers.

“The Queen’s Square project aims to de­liver hous­ing and help re­gen­er­ate the heart of the city.

“A fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity to high­light the huge po­ten­tial of Aberdeen.”

Plans un­veiled in June 2016 in­cluded the de­mo­li­tion of the po­lice head­quar­ters in Queen Street as part of a trans­for­ma­tion of the area, which was also to in­clude the re­fur­bish­ment of Marischal Col­lege’s eastern an­nexe and Greyfri­ars John Knox Church.

The vi­sion was one of “cafes and shops spilling out on to pedes­trian-friendly pub­lic streets and pub­lic space”, along with 330 new flats.

LOOK­ING AHEAD: An artist’s im­pres­sion of the North Dee Busi­ness Quar­ter – part of the Aberdeen city mas­ter­plan

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