Monday, 24 March 2014
Jobs boost for Ayrshire
Over 200 jobs have been created or supported in Ayrshire as a result of Enterprise Areas established by the Scottish Government, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (pictured below) has announced.
It comes ahead of Scottish Government Cabinet’s meeting and public discussion in Irvine tomorrow (Tuesday 25 March), the third in a series of Cabinet meetings outside Edinburgh this year.
Initial monitoring information shows that Enterprise Area status has boosted job creation and secured additional investment in Irvine and Prestwick.
Since April 2012, seven new businesses have been established in i3 lrvine’s Enterprise Area, supporting at least 141 jobs. Prestwick has also attracted three new companies to the local Enterprise Area, with the current 77 people employed expected to increase as the businesses take forward their expansion plans.
In the past two years GlaxoSmithKline have also approved investment of almost £60 million at Irvine. This includes the development of a biogas project and construction of wind turbines, ensuring the longer term creation of sustainable, high value employment opportunities.
Enterprise Areas provide additional support to businesses by providing business rates relief, capital allowances, streamlined planning and specialised skills support.
Ms Sturgeon said: “The aim of Enterprise Areas is to exploit opportunities in growth sectors and help create jobs in areas of Scotland that are facing challenging economic conditions.
“Irvine is a great example of the benefits that Enterprise Areas can bring to the local communities and the Ayrshire area has made tremendous progress in terms of attracting businesses and creating jobs. The local area has skilled workers and natural resources that are helping to build Scotland’s international reputation across a range of sectors and the community can expect further positive announcements on regeneration and community benefits following next week’s Scottish Government Cabinet meeting in Irvine.
“As a Government we are doing all we can to support jobs and create the best possible business conditions. Establishing Enterprise Areas is part of our overall approach to make Scotland the best place to do business.
“However, with the full fiscal and economic powers of independence we could do even more to strengthen our economy and create jobs.”
Patrick Wiggins (pictured above) Chief Executive of Irvine Bay said: “We are delighted with the progress being made in i3 Irvine’s Enterprise Area. The incentives, and support, available with Enterprise Area status are proving attractive to a range of businesses, particularly those in the Life Sciences and Engineering sectors. Irvine Bay together with our partners at North Ayrshire Council and Scottish Enterprise are working hard to continue delivering new jobs and investment to the area.”
North Ayrshire Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Employment, Councillor Marie Burns said: “This is fantastic news for North Ayrshire and testament to all our hard work in promoting Irvine as a premier destination for businesses. The figures show that we are beginning to turn the corner in terms of employment and regenerating the North Ayrshire economy. Our bold new approach to business support and investment - which was launched in November 2013 and involves both the private and public sector - is already beginning to pay dividends. We will continue to work with all our partners to fully exploit the advantages that Enterprise Area status brings.”
Councillor Bill McIntosh (pictured above), Leader of South Ayrshire Council, said: “With a strong engineering sector and a globally renowned aerospace industry based around the airport, the Prestwick Enterprise Area is a crucial part of the Ayrshire economy and, in partnership with Scottish Enterprise, we are committed to ensuring its continued success. Jobs and business growth are a key priority for the Council and Enterprise Area status has given this a positive boost, making a real difference for our people and communities. Encouraging investment and economic growth in our local area is why we created our very own Ambition enterprise and employment programme, which has been instrumental in attracting new business to this area and we will continue to do everything we can to help our people, businesses and economy achieve their full potential.”