Aberdeenshire (Scottish Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain) is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland.
It takes its name from the old County of Aberdeen which had substantially different boundaries. Modern Aberdeenshire includes all of what was once Kincardineshire, as well as part of Banffshire. The old boundaries are still officially used for a few purposes, namely land registration and lieutenancy.
Aberdeenshire Council is headquartered at Woodhill House, in Aberdeen, making it the only Scottish council whose headquarters are located outside its jurisdiction. Aberdeen itself forms a different council area (Aberdeen City). Aberdeenshire borders onto Angus and Perth and Kinross to the south, Highland and Moray to the west and Aberdeen City to the east.
Traditionally, it has been economically dependent upon the primary sector (agriculture, fishing, and forestry) and related processing industries. Over the last 40 years, the development of the oil and gas industry and associated service sector has broadened Aberdeenshire's economic base, and contributed to a rapid population growth of some 50% since 1975. Its land represents 8% of Scotland's overall territory. It covers an area of 6,313 square kilometres (2,437 sq mi).
After the end of the Revolution of 1688, an extended peaceful period was interrupted only by such fleeting events such as the Rising of 1715 and the Rising of 1745. The latter resulted in the end of the ascendancy of Episcopalianism and the feudal power of landowners. An era began of increased agricultural and industrial progress. During the 17th century, Aberdeenshire was the location of more fighting, centered on the Marquess of Montrose and the English Civil Wars. This period also saw increased wealth due to the increase in trade with Germany, Poland, and the Low Countries.
The present council area is named after the historic county of Aberdeen, which had different boundaries and was abolished in 1975 under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973. It was replaced by Grampian Regional Council and five district councils: Banff and Buchan, Gordon, Kincardine and Deeside, Moray and the City of Aberdeen. The current Aberdeenshire consists of all of former Aberdeenshire, former Kincardineshire and the northeast portions of Banffshire. Local government functions were shared between the two levels. In 1996, under the Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994, the Banff and Buchan district, Gordon district and Kincardine and Deeside district were merged to form the present Aberdeenshire council area, with the other two districts becoming autonomous council areas.
Energy – There is significant energy related infrastructure, presence and expertise in Aberdeenshire. Peterhead is an important centre for the energy industry. Peterhead Port, which includes an extensive new quay with adjacent lay down area at Smith Quay, is a major support location for North Sea oil and gas exploration and production and the fast-growing global sub-sea sector. The Gas Terminal at St Fergus handles around 15% of the UK's natural gas requirements and the Peterhead power station is looking to host Britain's first carbon capture and storage power generation project.
Fishing – Aberdeenshire is Scotland's foremost fishing area. In 2010, catches landed at Aberdeenshire's ports accounted for over half the total fish landings of Scotland, and almost 45% in the UK. Peterhead and Fraserburgh ports, alongside Aberdeen City, provide much of the employment in these sectors.
Agriculture – Aberdeenshire is rich in arable land, with an estimated 9,000 people employed in the sector, and is best known for rearing livestock. Sheep are important in the higher ground.
Tourism – this sector continues to grow, with a range of sights to be seen in the area. From the lively Cairngorm Mountain range to the bustling fishing ports on the North-east coast, Aberdeenshire samples a bit of everything. Aberdeenshire also has a rugged coastline, many sandy beaches and is a hot spot for tourist activity throughout the year. Almost 1.3 million tourists visited the region in 2011 – up 3% on the previous year.
Whisky-distilling is still a practiced art in the area.
Aberdeenshire or the County of Aberdeen (Scots: Coontie o Aiberdeen, Scottish Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain) is a historic county and registration county of Scotland. The area of the county, excluding the city of Aberdeen itself, is also a lieutenancy area. The county borders Kincardineshire, Angus and Perthshire to the south, Inverness-shire and Banffshire to the west, and the North Sea to the north and east. It has a coast-line of 65 miles (105 km).
Between 1890 and 1975, Aberdeenshire was one of the administrative counties of Scotland, governed by a county council. In 1900, the county town of Aberdeen became a county of a city and was thus removed from the administrative county. In 1975 the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 reorganised local administration in Scotland into a two-tier system of regions and districts. The administrative counties of Aberdeenshire, the City of Aberdeen, Banffshire, Kincardineshire and most of Morayshire were merged to form Grampian Region, with the area of county being divided between the districts of City of Aberdeen, Banff and Buchan, Gordon and Kincardine and Deeside for administration. In 1996 Scottish local government system was reorganised a second time to form a single tier of unitary council areas. The name was revived in local government for the council area of Aberdeenshire, which has vastly different boundaries.
There was an Aberdeenshire constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1708 to 1801 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1868. This constituency did not include the parliamentary burgh of Aberdeen, which was represented as a component of Aberdeen District of Burghs until 1832, when it was enlarged and became the Aberdeen burgh constituency. The other components of the district of burghs became components of the then new Montrose District of Burghs.
In 1868 the Aberdeenshire constituency was divided to form two new county divisions, or county constituencies, namely Eastern Aberdeenshire and Western Aberdeenshire.
In 1885 the Aberdeen burgh constituency was divided to form the burgh constituencies of Aberdeen North and Aberdeen South.
In 1918 Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire were treated as if a single county for parliamentary representation purposes, with the area of the Kincardineshire county constituency and the Aberdeenshire constituencies being divided into three new constituencies, Kincardine and Western Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen and Kincardine Central and Aberdeen and Kincardine East. Kincardine and Western Aberdeenshire included the whole of the former Kincardineshire constituency.