McInnes: Swinney must back Aberdeen City Region Deal

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Alison McInnes today said the finance secretary must back the bid for the Aberdeen City Region Deal in his budget statement next week.

Ms McInnes, who is MSP for North East Scotland, today asked Mr Swinney what action the Scottish Government has taken to support the bid for the deal.

The Aberdeen City Region Deal is a bid from Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils for billions of pounds worth of joint funding from the UK and Scottish governments for a range of infrastructure, housing and innovation improvements.

Questioning the finance secretary, Mrs McInnes said: "In the chancellor's spending review he referenced the ongoing negotiations on the Aberdeen City Region Deal, which was welcome. But he then went on to destroy the future of one of the North-East's key projects, the proposed carbon capture and storage scheme.

"Given the importance of the North-East to Scotland's economy, the finance secretary must make sure he does not undermine the various strands of the City Region Deal in his upcoming budget decision.

"Will the finance secretary back the Aberdeen City Region Deal in his budget statement next week?"

Mrs McInnes added: "The Liberal Democrats kick-started the process of supporting some of the country's economic hubs through city deals. The Tories and SNP cannot be allowed to backtrack on the excellent progress we made in government.

"It's been months since the councils' statement of intent was submitted outlining the many benefits this funding would bring to the city and surrounding area.

"The people of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire have been hit incredibly hard by the fall in oil prices. The area needs as much help as possible to boost its economy and everything could hinge on the finance secretary's decision."

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