North-east MSPs welcome funding for Just Transition projects
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Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin and Banff and Buchan Coast MSP Karen Adams are encouraging organisations, businesses, communities and individuals to apply for a new fund to help support the north-east economy in its transition to net zero.
The Just Transition Fund for will help support a transition to net zero, creating jobs in low carbon industries and contributing to the region’s future prosperity.
In this financial year, £20million will be made available, with £1million will be made available to directly fund communities through a participatory budgeting mechanism.
It means communities will be able to design and vote on their favourite just transition projects.
It follows extensive engagement across the region with partners including local authorities, private sector, the enterprise agencies, trade unions and community organisations to design the Fund and understand how to deliver the most impact.
The 10-year, £500 million Just Transition Fund, is part of the Bute House Agreement and a Programme for Government commitment for 2021-22.
Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work, Richard Lochead said: “It is vital that, as Scotland transitions its society and economy towards a low-carbon, net zero future, no individual, community or region is left behind.
"A just transition is about ensuring that this economic transformation is managed fairly for workers in existing industries.
“I have said from the outset that my priority is to listen carefully to the people and sectors most impacted, ensuring our approach to a just transition is co-designed.
“That is why I am pleased to be announcing the Fund will open following an extensive period of conversation with our partners in the region.
"It is their input that has helped shape the Fund’s design, with a more innovative approach and a variety of funding streams.
Commenting, Gillian Martin MSP said: “I would encourage organisations, businesses, communities and individuals to apply for this funding which will make a contribution to the Just Transition.
“This is an issue I’m passionate about and my recent report into the challenges workers feels exist in helping them move from oil and gas to renewables is clear.
“The more investment that can be made will be crucial in the years ahead, ensuring we listen carefully to both the people and sectors most impacted by the changes occurring across the energy sector.”
MSP Karen Adam said: "This funding is most welcome and sees the Scottish Government again step up while Westminster have proven again to be all talk and no action – for all their talk the Conservatives have well and truly abandoned the north-east and Moray.
"The need for an energy transition is so vital for us up here, it's our jobs and our livelihoods.
"This fund is putting our communities in the north-east and Moray at its heart to support our region’s long-term journey to a prosperous future.
“This Scottish Government fund is in stark contrast to what the north-east and Moray has seen from Westminster, whose efforts so far can only be classed as an utter betrayal after so many broken promises.
"The north-east alone has contributed £750bn to UK coffers from Oil & Gas since 1970 but has seen little action to reinvest from the union."
Scottish Greens North East Scotland MSP Maggie Chapman said: “The Scottish Greens secured the £500million just transition fund as a key component of the Bute House Agreement, and I am delighted that communities in the north-east will play a role in determining how this fund is allocated.
"As Scotland transitions to a renewable powered economy it is vital that the workers and communities who have been intrinsic to the success of the oil and gas sector for decades are at the forefront of designing Scotland’s industrial future.”