Report highlights Economic Recovery Fund benefit to the north-east

Report highlights Economic Recovery Fund benefit to the north-east

More than 4,000 people and 900 businesses have benefited from a £14.3 million Economic Recovery Fund.

A report published today showed the outcomes of an economic rescue package for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

The North East Economic Recovery and Skills Fund (NEERSF) Final Programme Report was unveiled to business delegates during the ABZWorks Conference. The NEERSF was developed in partnership with the University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University, ETZ Ltd, Aberdeenshire Council, Opportunity North East, Skills Development Scotland and Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce.

The City Council was appointed lead accountable body with responsibility for overseeing delivery of the fund, which incorporated five main themes:

  • Promoting entrepreneurship and supporting business
  • Increasing digital capability in the region
  • Developing future skills in the north-east
  • Supporting the transition to net zero and green energy
  • Widening opportunities to upskill and reskill

Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Christian Allard said: “The opportunity to deliver a funded programme designed and developed by partners across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire was one which we eagerly grabbed.

“The outcomes of the North East Economic Recovery and Skills Fund, many of which will continue to benefit the region for years to come, and the strength of the partnership formed to deliver it, make a solid case for the delivery of future delivery of government priorities, taking a place-based approach to address needs and opportunities."

The Fund was provided by the Scottish Government to support the recovery and growth of the region following the Covid-19 pandemic, a drop in the oil price, and EU Exit, which saw Aberdeen topping the redundancy league table with three times more jobs listed as being at risk.

Further Education Minister Graeme Dey said: “The North East Economic Recovery and Skills Fund is a great example of how the Government can work together with local partners to achieve strong outcomes for individuals and communities.

“While this is a short-term programme in response to current economic situation, there’s a lot we can learn from the strong partnerships forged with both local and regional businesses to deliver a huge range of projects that have economic growth at their heart.”

Professor John Barrow, Dean for Employability & Entrepreneurship at the University of Aberdeen, said: “We know from speaking to those who have completed our short courses, they really can help people take their career to the next level, or enable them to take their first steps into a new career, or to start their own business.

"The NEERSF project has enabled us to open these important courses up to many who may not have considered them before, making a positive impact on their own lives and the local economy.”

The report is available to view online here.

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