Speakers including Douglas Fraser (BBC Scotland), Minister Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Economist Will Hutton, Aberdeen Council Leader Jenny Laing, Opportunity North East's Jennifer Craw & more to advise on delivery of economic strategy in Scotland "from national to local"

(30/11/2016) - Senior figures in Scottish economic development meet in Aberdeen tomorrow, 1 December 2016, to discuss the transformation of economic development delivery 'from national to local'.

Those leading Scotland's economic development - including representatives of the enterprise agencies, local authorities, business groups, independent consultants and the third sector - will hear from a heavy-weight line-up of speakers about how opportunities for Scotland's economy can be generated despite current economic challenges and uncertainties.
This includes an address from one of the UK's leading economists, Will Hutton, Principal of Hertford College Oxford and a former editor-in-chief of The Observer. Mr Hutton will discuss the wider political and economic circumstances shaping the conditions for economic development in Scotland. This includes the Trump presidency, Brexit, budgetary pressure, the Autumn statement, spatial imbalance, the changing UK State - and the implications of all this for regional, economic and industrial development in Scotland.
In his latest article for the Guardian, Mr Hutton argues: "Be in no doubt. Brexit transcends the 1974 oil shock or the 2008/9 financial crash in the probable scale, intensity and duration of its impact. Every aspect of our economy is going to be affected".
Meanwhile the Scottish Government's Business Minister, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, will discuss the government's approach to economic development in a changing policy context, including how national government can increase partnership with local government, enterprise agencies and the wider economic development community.
Those attending will learn about innovative economic strategy being implemented in the North East of Scotland, including from Councillor Jenny Laing, Leader, Aberdeen City Council; Jennifer Craw, Chief Executive of Opportunity North East and Chair of Robert Gordon University; and Professor Gary McEwan, Chief Executive, Elevator and Honorary Professor of Entrepreneurship at Dundee University.
The line-up of speakers also includes Douglas Fraser (Conference Chair), Business and Economy Editor, BBC Scotland; Professor Andy Pike, Director of Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies, Newcastle University; Susan Love, Policy Manager, FSB Scotland; and Phil Hall, Enterprise Officer, Hull City Council - to name but a few.
 
Phil Hall, who will speak about the economic regeneration of Hull since the launching of a "City Plan" in 2013, said: "I am exceptionally proud of everything we have achieved in Hull and I am delighted to share our story as the spotlight shines on our City". 
Set against a backdrop of economic and political change, senior practitioners will discuss how national strategic aims can be delivered locally to maximum impact. With change across a range of scales, including the Trump presidency, Brexit, extra Holyrood powers, the enterprise agencies' review, budgetary challenges and City Region Deals, the conference represents a timely and important opportunity for leaders in Scotland's economic development community to come together to collectively consider this changing landscape and shape common action. 
The conference, Leading Economic Development Transformation is co-organised by EDAS (Economic Development Association Scotland) and SLAED (Scottish Local Authorities Economic Development Group), for those leading Scotland's economic development. The conference is being held on 1st December in partnership with and hosted by, Aberdeen City Council.  
Conference organisers, SLAED and EDAS, have said they look forward to welcoming delegates from all over the UK to Aberdeen for this flagship conference.
 
Robert Pollock, Chair of EDAS, said:
"I thank Aberdeen City Council for hosting this flagship event, and look forward to hearing about the innovative changes to economic development occurring in the North East of Scotland.
"This conference is a great opportunity for senior practitioners in the public, private and third sectors to come together to discuss how we can improve the alignment and delivery of local economic development in changing circumstances".
 
Jim Galloway, Chair of SLAED, added:
"I'm delighted that SLAED is holding our first joint conference with EDAS this year as a clear sign that our two organisations are working in partnership to raise the profile of local economic development. I'm particularly pleased we have engaged an outstanding line up of headline speakers including Will Hutton who I'm sure will provide valuable insight on the major economic challenges and opportunities we face at a time of radical change at the local, national and international level".
Source: EDAS
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