1. ITV Report

New deal to invest £250 million in north-east Scotland's economy

The BP Etap platform around 100 miles east of Aberdeen. Credit: PA

A deal to invest £250 million in north-east Scotland's economy will be signed on Thursday.

The UK City Deal for Aberdeen includes plans for innovation in the oil and gas industry, with equal funding commitments by the UK and Scottish governments.

The package also outlines how the region will diversify the biopharmaceutical and agri-food industries.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell, who will sign the agreement on behalf of the UK Government, said: "Oil and gas is a crucial sector, not just for the north-east of Scotland but for the whole of the UK. I know it's a very tough time for people who work in the industry and their families, and I am determined that the UK Government will do what it can to support them."

Keith Brown, Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, who will sign the deal on behalf of the Scottish Government, added:"Delivery of the City Deal will reaffirm the north-east's global reputation in oil and gas, and pave the way for diversifying the region's economy, building upon existing strengths in the agri-food and drink and biopharmaceuticals sectors.

David Cameron is to visit Aberdeen to hear about the challenges facing the area, and is also expected to announce measures addressing oil and gas jobs.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called on the UK Government to lower taxes on the oil and gas industry in the forthcoming March Budget.

Aberdeen City Council leader Jenny Laing welcomed the deal, but said it was "only the first stage" in transforming north-east Scotland.