Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Ayrshire takes Growth Deal campaign to Westminster
The campaign to deliver the Ayrshire Growth Deal – the exciting initiative to build on Ayrshire's potential to boost business, jobs and prosperity – will take a significant step forward this week at a special event at Westminster.
The four Ayrshire MPs – Alan Brown, Patricia Gibson, Philippa Whitford and Corri Wilson – supported by East, North and South Ayrshire Councils and industry partners, will host the Ayrshire Business Showcase on Wednesday (8 February).
The event will feature representation from some of Ayrshire’s most prestigious companies within key industry sectors including aerospace and space, life sciences, manufacturing, tourism and coastal (ports and harbours). It will provide an opportunity for MPs and invited business guests to learn about the Ayrshire Growth Deal and these key industries and find out more on the Growth Deal’s potential to strengthen the Ayrshire, Scottish and UK economies.
A key aim of the event will be to secure a commitment to the Ayrshire Growth Deal from the UK Government – similar to the support for the ambitious proposals which has already been given by the Scottish Government. A total of £360 million is being sought to deliver the Growth Deal.
Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council, said: “We know we have an extremely strong case for growth in Ayrshire and a fantastic platform to build upon thanks to our established industries and growing markets. However, we need the support of our governments in both Westminster and Holyrood to fully realise our ambitions and ensure we have the necessary infrastructure in place to bring in the investment and jobs that will transform the lives of our people and communities. The Ayrshire Growth Deal is both aspirational and bold and I welcome the opportunity to put that message across right at the heart of the UK government this week.”
Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of East Ayrshire Council said: “For many months now we have been working collaboratively across Ayrshire on a range of innovative and ambitious business proposals which will transform communities across Ayrshire. Having already engaged the Scottish Government in this process, we now welcome this opportunity to take our proposals to the UK Government to secure further commitment.”
Councillor Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, said: “The Ayrshire Growth Deal offers a real chance to make a lasting and meaningful transformation to the Ayrshire economy. This isn’t about a short-term fix – it’s about creating an economic legacy which will have a positive impact for generations to come. We are hopeful that, when the full scope of our ambitions are detailed on Wednesday, it will help secure that commitment we need from Westminster to make them a reality.”
As well as getting the chance to meet with some of the key businesses based in Ayrshire and build a better understanding of how they can complement other industries and other areas, MPs will also get a chance to sample some of Ayrshire’s world-famous and award-winning food and drink produce, with a number of key companies in attendance.
The vision of the Ayrshire Growth Deal is for Ayrshire to be a vibrant, outward looking, confident region, attractive to investors and visitors, making a major contribution to Scottish and UK growth and local well-being, and leading the implementation of digital technologies and the next generation of manufacturing.
The objectives of the Growth Deal are to:
• Attract and develop innovative and internationally focussed companies with high levels of productivity through developing key infrastructure and targeted business support programmes.
• Position Ayrshire as the ‘go-to’ region for smart manufacturing and digital skills.
• Improve key elements of strategic transport and digital infrastructure to help businesses get goods to market and people to work (physically and virtually).
• Work with our communities to raise aspiration and ambition, provide employment and skills support, and improve access to jobs through innovative community empowerment and employability programmes.
South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.