Aberdeen ,

Aberdeen City Region Deal Committee underlines commitment to BioHub

The Aberdeen City Region Deal (ACRD) Joint Committee today (Friday 24 July) underlined its commitment to the Bio-therapeutics Hub for Innovation (BioHub) project and agreed to discuss funding with the UK Government and Scottish Government ahead of its next meeting in August.

The BioHub project is at a critical stage of delivery. Its construction phase is programmed to start this summer with delivery of the construction contract running through 2021.

The Joint Committee noted that additional funding has been made available to similar projects in Scotland.Senior representatives from the ACRD will now meet with the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Scottish City Region & Growth Deal Delivery Board in early August to discuss additional funding and the risks and implications for projects if they are not provided.

The Joint Committee will bring forward its next meeting to 21 August 2020 to allow a decision to be made.

The ACRD partners and stakeholders will continue to seek additional funding sources across all projects.

The Committee also agreed that as the long-term impact of COVID-19 remains unclear, projects should continue to plan, monitor, and report its impact on projects, especially in relation to procurement and construction plans and expected private sector and other funding.

Councillor Jenny Laing, Chair of the ACRD Joint Committee and Co-leader of Aberdeen City Council, said: “BioHub will be transformational for the life sciences sector in north east Scotland and nationally significant to economic recovery by supporting growth in the innovation-led health economy. The City Region Deal partners are fully committed to its delivery.

“The Joint Committee noted that additional funding has been made available to similar projects in Scotland and we will explore all funding options with the UK Government and Scottish Government ahead of our next meeting.

“The priority for the ACRD partners is to ensure that this vital project is delivered to programme and accelerates innovation from the laboratory into clinical and commercial settings to transform patient outcomes and healthcare delivery. BioHub will enable the growth of more innovative life sciences companies in the city region and anchor high-value economic activity and employment for the long term.” said Councillor Laing.

Sir Ian Wood KT GBE, Chair of ONE, said: “BioHub is a transformational investment project for life sciences companies in the region. It will help academics, clinicians, companies and researchers to collaborate, innovate and commercialise therapies and solutions for global health challenges, ranging from COVID-19 to cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. It builds on the region’s strengths in biologics and digital to deliver industry’s ambition to double the number of life sciences companies in Aberdeen. BioHub’s delivery is critical to economic recovery in the region and to deliver nationally-significant growth in the country’s health economy.”

The ACRD is a partnership between UK Government, Scottish Government, Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council and Opportunity North East (ONE).