Ayrshire Growth Deal secures PM support

The HALO project in Kilmarnock

The team behind multi-million plans for the regeneration of Ayrshire have welcomed UK government support as a major step forward for their proposals.

Prime Minister Theresa May today made a commitment to progress the Ayrshire Growth Deal which aims to take forward a number of transformational projects across the region and provide significant investment in the key sectors of aerospace and space, life sciences, manufacturing and tourism.

Proposals in a strategic business case for the Deal included the HALO project in Kilmarnock which has already secured £7 million of investment.

Other potential Ayrshire Growth Deal projects include:

  • The growth and development of the aerospace industry at Prestwick Airport and securing the UK’s first spaceport there
  • Development of Irvine Harbourside and Ardeer Peninsula
  • Ayrshire being considered as the UK location for a Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre
  • Regional transport appraisal to lead to improvements to the road and rail infrastructure particularly the main arterial routes
  • Investment at Bellfield Interchange and A76, providing essential links to the northern powerhouse and to open up additional development land across Ayrshire
  • Development of industrial space at Moorfield Kilmarnock
  • Complementary investment in digital infrastructure
  • Further development of industrial and business premises in key locations

The Growth Deal team – which includes the three Ayrshire councils and national agencies, with support from the private sector – have been lobbying hard to gain the guarantee of financial support from the UK government.

The Scottish Government has made its own firm commitment to progressing the Deal.

During her visit to Ayrshire the PM confirmed that talks would now formally begin over a new Ayrshire Growth Deal.

Councillor Joe Cullinane, leader of North Ayrshire Council, said: “We have developed projects, visualised how they will map out and how they will positively impact the local, Scottish and UK economies. It is been hard having these potentially transformational plans without being able to take them significantly forward.

“It is now fantastic that we have reached this stage and we’re excited about what it could mean for Ayrshire. We have worked hard to identify projects that will benefit not only our local economies but also the wider Scottish one too.

“Inclusive growth is key to these proposals and we firmly believe that the Ayrshire Growth Deal will deliver economic growth that will enrich all our communities.

“We feel these proposals are ambitious and would make a huge difference to the Ayrshire economy. We can now take these forward and that is really exciting.”

Councillor Douglas Campbell, leader of South Ayrshire Council, said: “Today’s announcement from the Prime Minister and the UK government on the start of formal talks is a welcome and positive step forward in turning the Ayrshire Growth Deal from an ambition into a reality. It’s testament to the huge amount of time and effort that we’ve put in over the last couple of years to bring both the UK and Scottish Governments to the table and to get them to buy-in to Ayrshire’s potential.

“The Growth Deal is more than just a set of projects – it’s about investment and jobs, the transformation of our economy and our communities, and, ultimately improving lives.

“With the backing of both the Scottish and UK Governments and talks about to get underway, we want to hit the ground running to discuss exactly what support and funding they will be putting in place so we can get to work on delivering a terrific deal for the people of Ayrshire.”

Councillor Douglas Reid, leader of East Ayrshire Council, said: “We welcome this commitment from the UK Government and in particular, recognition from them that Ayrshire has indeed the potential to provide growth for the Scottish and UK economies, with the assets and ambition available in this area.

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