The Joint Committee had before it a report by John-Paul Cleary (CRD Programme Manager, ACC) which provided an update on the Programme to develop the specific projects under the City Region Deal Heads of Terms (£250m).
The report recommended –
that the Joint Committee note the progress of the Aberdeen City Region Deal Programme.
John-Paul Cleary (CRD Programme Manager, ACC) spoke to the report and advised that discussions with the two governments were ongoing and he advised that the Assurance Framework attached as Appendix 4 under item 4 (Aberdeen City Region Deal Agreement) would set out the agreed approach to investment and governance to be taken by both governments in relation to the City Region Deal. He also highlighted that the Aberdeen City Region Deal had been represented on a two day Green Book workshop arranged by the Scottish Government which focussed on business case development. The Joint Committee was then provided an update on the various elements of the City Region Deal:
(i) With regards to the Oil and Gas Technology Centre, the Joint Committee was reminded that this item was on today’s agenda under item 4;
(ii) With regards to the Agri-Food and Nutrition Innovation Hub, the Joint Committee was advised that an outline business case would be presented to the Hub’s Board on 18 August 2016;
(iii) With regards to the Bio-Therapeutic Innovation Centre, the Joint Committee was informed that a business case and plan would be drafted by October 2016 and that additional testing of the concept had been undertaken to evaluate links between clinical research and commercial organisations;
(iv) With regards to Digital Infrastructure, the Joint Committee was advised that a gap analysis had been completed that mapped current provision of broadband across the city region to identify gaps in broadband connectivity. Lead officers would also be meeting with the Scottish Government, Scottish Futures Trust and Cube Ultra on 16 August 2016 to identify projects for CRD investment. A draft business case would be prepared by officers by the end of August 2016;
(v) With regards to the Strategic Transport Appraisal, the Joint Committee was informed that lead officers would be meeting with Transport Scotland on 24 August 2016 to discuss governance, the work programme and funding arrangements with a focus on how CRD funding would be managed; and
(vi) With regards to the Harbour Expansion Project, the Joint Committee was advised that the scope of the infrastructure work was still to be defined. Lead officers would be meeting with the Harbour Board and Scottish Futures Trust to discuss funding levels and expected expenditure. A decision on the expansion project has been scheduled for October 2016.
The Joint Committee resolved:-
(i) to note the progress of the Aberdeen City Region Deal Programme; and
(ii) to advise that a report would be presented to Aberdeen City Council on 17 August 2016 which would provide members with an options appraisal on the devolution of existing and proposed (via the Scotland Bill) powers and to note that this report would be published on the Council’s website for members’ information.