This week saw the launch of a new, private sector led and funded body which aims to make a major contribution to the future of our region’s economy. 

Opportunity North East (ONE), led by senior business figures from across the region, aims to broaden and strengthen the economy by investing in and accelerating the delivery of projects of scale and impact through four key sector boards covering Oil & Gas; Food, Drink & Agriculture; Life Sciences; and Tourism. 

ONE Launch 1

ONE Launch 1: Pictured from left to right are board members Sir Ian Wood, Colin Crosby, Professor Stephen Logan, Jennifer Craw and Patrick Machray.

The creation of ONE has come about after extensive discussion within the business community and dialogue with the public sector, recognising the considerable challenges that we face.

ONE, which has secured an initial investment commitment of £25 million from the Wood Family Trust, will provide co-funding and resources to help grow and promote these key business sectors and bring high-impact projects to fruition in partnership with the public and private sectors. It will focus on investment and action to stimulate economic growth, safeguard jobs and create new employment opportunities over the medium to long term.  

Sir Ian WoodONE’s economic leadership board, chaired by Sir Ian Wood, is largely drawn from the private sector and includes Elevator’s Chief Executive Officer, Prof. Gary McEwan, alongside representatives from Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils, the Principals of the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University, and a senior Scottish Enterprise representative.

In addition to its work in the four industry sectors, ONE will be the private sector partner in the City Region Deal and fulfil the roles of the regional advisory board for Scottish Enterprise and the Economic Forum for the two Councils. 

gary mcewanCommenting on the launch of ONE, Prof. Gary McEwan said: “The individuals and organisations involved in ONE share a passion for economic development in the region and recognise that now is a vital time for action in order to ensure a sustainable future for the North-east.

“As a major supporter of economic development in the region and a driver for entrepreneurial thinking, Elevator has a key role to play in supporting the innovation agenda within each of the four industry sectors that ONE is prioritising and with which we already work with on entrepreneurship, business acceleration and the delivery of Business Gateway support to business owners in the


“We are delighted to be involved with ONE and anything that Elevator can do to strengthen the local economy, we will."

Further news stories on the emergence of ONE:

Sir Ian Wood to spend £25m to save north east amid oil downturn

Herald Scotland - 2/12/2015

ONE of Scotland's most successful businessmen is to spend £25 million trying to save the fortunes of Aberdeen and the north east as the oil industry declines. Sir Ian Wood, whose family made a multi-million-pound fortune from the offshore oil and gas ... 

Sir Ian wood announces £25m North-east investment

Scotsman - ‎2/12/2015‎

Sir Ian Wood is to plough £25 million of his family's fortune into the economic “renaissance” of the North-east to help secure its future beyond the oil and gas years. The oil tycoon and former chairman of the Wood Group will lead a group of ... 

Sir Ian Wood's plan to help Aberdeen prepare for oil running out

BBC News - ‎3/12/2015‎

Sir Ian Wood has pledged £25m of his own money to set up Opportunity North East which will replace the region's existing economic development agency ACSEF that will be scrapped. The body will focus on developing the oil and gas industry as well as food ...

Oil tycoon Ian Wood creates new development body with £25m donation - ‎3/12/2015

Oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood has donated £25m to create a new organisation which aims to revitalise the north east. Long-standing economic development body Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future (Acsef) will be scrapped in favour of Opportunity North East ...

£50million project to breath new life into Aberdeen

Aberdeen Press and Journal - ‎2/12/2015

Sir Ian Wood and other prominent figures in business, education and the public sector have joined forces to set up a new body, backed by a £50million funding pot, to deliver future prosperity across the north-east. Launching Opportunity North East (ONE ...

Wood family set up development agency in bid to secure prosperity in north-east

The National - ‎3/12/2015

OIL tycoon Sir Ian Wood has pledged £25 million to set up a new development body in the north-east. The economic body, of which Sir Ian will be chairman, is to replace the Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future (Acsef), which is to be abolished after ... 

Development body Acsef to be replaced by Opportunity North East

BBC News - 3/12/2015

The economic development agency for the north east of Scotland - Acsef - is to be scrapped, and replaced by a new body run by businessman Sir Ian Wood. Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future was introduced in 2008, following in the footsteps of ... 

Multi-million-pound initiative launched to secure Aberdeen's post-oil future

Energy Voice - ‎3/12/2015

Leaders in business, education and the public sector have teamed up to secure the north-east's post-oil future, backed by a £50million funding pot. Sir Ian Wood has donated £25million to the newly formed Opportunity North East (One) group, with the ...

Launched: new £50million scheme to boost North-east business

Aberdeen Evening Express - ‎3/12/2015‎

A NEW private sector body was launched today – with the prospect of at least £50 million to help businesses flourish in the North-east. Opportunity North East (ONE) is being chaired by oil services tycoon Sir Ian Wood, whose charitable foundation is ...

Council leaders welcome formation of £50million Aberdeen initiative 

Aberdeen Press and Journal - 3/12/2015

Leaders of the north-east's councils have warmly welcomed the formation of the multi-million-pound private sector initiative designed to secure the region's post-oil future. Opportunity North East (One), launched by energy industry doyen Sir Ian Wood ...

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