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Ayrshire growth deal makes waves

Words: Roger Milne
Irvine would benefit from Ayrshire growth deal / Shutterstock_1190556955

The signing of a heads of agreement between the three Ayrshire local authorities and the UK and Scottish governments over a regional growth deal for the area is understood to be imminent.

This £324 million initiative is set to create up to 13,000 jobs and help to transform an area of Scotland hit by the decline of manufacturing.

The deal has been two years in the making and is anticipated to trigger £2 billion of additional private sector investment over the next 15 years.

Some of the investment would help to boost traditional areas of the economy such as seaside tourism in towns such as Irvine, Largs and Prestwick, while some would go to new ventures such as the planned spaceport at Prestwick Airport. The deal would also see resources directed to upgrade road and rail links and as well as the area’s digital connectivity.

Proposed is an International Marine Science and Environmental Centre at Ardrossan and the development of a West of Scotland Centre for Marine Leisure where people training or working in the sector can learn new skills.

Ayrshire local and national politicians have been pushing for the deal with UK and Scottish ministers.

Patricia Gibson, the SNP MP for North Ayrshire and Arran, has been reported as saying: “The agreement for the Ayrshire Growth Deal is now in place and it is expected to be signed off in January.”

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