Economy in north east of Scotland 'can grow steadily' in next decade

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Aberdeen is a major oil and gas industry city

The economy of the north east of Scotland is expected to grow steadily over the next decade after a "challenging" spell, according to a new report.

The Aberdeen Economic Policy Panel predicted that the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire economies would grow by 1.5% annually between 2018 and 2028.

It said Aberdeen must continue to diversify away from oil and gas.

The report suggests an increasing focus on renewables, culture, and tourism.

Among the key findings was that Aberdeen's economy was "stabilising" after a "challenging few years".

'Remains resilient'

The report said: "These are times of unprecedented political, socio-economic, and environmental change.

"Brexit; geopolitical tensions; trade barriers; demanding new emission reduction targets; a global slowdown - all these factors increase uncertainty and pose economic challenges to countries, regions, and cities.

"Yet despite the turbulence, the Aberdeen City Region's economy remains resilient."

Image caption,
Sir Ian Wood said he saw "positive green shoots"

Employment levels of working-age people were said to have increased to 78% in the city and 81% in Aberdeenshire in June this year, up from 70% and 78% respectively three years previously.

The report was launched at the State of the Cities Conference held at P&J Live on Tuesday morning.

Last month, businessman Sir Ian Wood said Aberdeen would become "a major global energy city" not just an oil and gas city.

The former chairman of the Wood Group said his "nightmare" was that there would be a generation who could not find jobs in the city.

Sir Ian told BBC Debate Night he saw "positive green shoots".