Council’s finance team collects top prizes in recognition of game-changing approach to funding

The team that successfully secured a £370million bond for the city has won a national innovation prize for its efforts.

Aberdeen City Council’s finance team beat off competition from across the UK local government sector to receive the Innovation in Finance award at the MJ Awards.

Through strong financial management, the Council were issued a credit rating of Aa2 by Moody’s Investors Services and became the first Scottish local authority to raise funds on the capital markets.

The finance model, which saves the public millions of pounds in interest payments, is being used to fund a £1billion capital investment programme in the Granite City.

The programme will improve transport networks; further develop the council’s commercial portfolio and direct funding to the cultural sector and communities to create economic prosperity.

Aberdeen City Council Chief Executive Angela Scott said: “In the public sector, true innovation is taking a bold idea and shaping it into something real which delivers value for our residents and the place.

“Our finance team have proved they are capable of adopting innovative means to ensure we can continue not only protect the public pound and continue to fund service delivery but that we can also invest in the city to encourage long-term sustainability.

“We are now in a position to carry out an ambitious City Centre Masterplan programme and develop Aberdeen’s infrastructure to allow for economic diversification of the region’s industries.

“It is an honour to receive this award that recognises the true spirit of the public sector is to find the ways and means to continually add value.”

The award, given at a ceremony in London last night (June 15), is the most recent in a flurry of awards received by the Council’s financial services.

On June 14, Aberdeen City Council’s Head of Finance Steve Whyte received personal recognition for his role in managing the department.

Mr Whyte was awarded the Emerging Director of the Year prize at the Scottish Accountancy and Finance Awards in Glasgow.

Aberdeen City Council Leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: “These awards symbolise the hard work over the past 12 months that has resulted in a remarkable achievement by Aberdeen City Council.

“There is real recognition among our peers across local government that this organisation has ambitions and ideas to continue to deliver a stable financial strategy and continue to invest in the future of the city.”

Aberdeen City Council Finance, Policy and Resources Convener Councillor Douglas Lumsden said: “In the short time that I’ve been part of this organisation, I’ve seen first-hand the commitment and ambition of the finance department to improve how we do our business.

"This award speaks volumes to their dedication and I am looking forward to building on these successes over the next five years for the benefit of our residents.”