New location identified for Growth Deal food and drink project
East Ayrshire Council’s Cabinet has approved proposals to locate an innovative food and drink manufacturing project at Moorfield, Kilmarnock.
The Ayrshire Manufacturing Investment Corridor Project (AMIC) is supported by funding of £13.5 million from the Scottish Government and £10 million from the UK Government as part of the £251 million Ayrshire Growth Deal.
AMIC will see the creation of a food and drink centre of excellence and incubation units and the development of infrastructure and advanced manufacturing industrial units for the food and drink sector. Sector-specific support for the food and drinks industry is currently not available in the South West of Scotland and AMIC aims to fill this gap.
Like many construction projects, however, the AMIC project has suffered from delays associated with construction inflation – an unfortunate consequence of the pandemic, Brexit and the war in Ukraine. Early proposals for this project had recommended an alternative site adjacent to the Bellfield Interchange in Kilmarnock, which had been put forward for inclusion in the Strategic Transport Project Review and Levelling Up Fund. However these aspirations did not come to fruition, meaning that the initial site for AMIC was no longer a favourable option.
Moorfield is an established industrial area with a strong business presence and has already been confirmed as the preferred location for another Growth Deal project - the Ayrshire Engineering Park (AEP). The collocation of both AEP and AMIC on the same site at Moorfield brings significant benefits, particularly in relation to construction costs. Roads and infrastructure costs for example, can be split between both projects, allowing budgets to focus on buildings and assets, and creation of local training and employment opportunities.
Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of East Ayrshire Council welcomed these new proposals for AMIC.
He said: “Ayrshire food and drink products are world-renowned and the region is home to an impressive range of both traditional and modern food and drink businesses, from small family run operations to internationally renowned employers who are exporting produce across the world.
“I’m delighted that we have identified a suitable location for AMIC - this project has huge potential to support one of the most successful industry sectors in Ayrshire. By collocating two AGD projects on the same site, this becomes a very attractive proposition, which will allow the Ayrshire Growth Deal to move forward with effective and deliverable solutions.”
These proposals are still subject to planning approvals.