Growth deal website launched as ambitious plans for Ayrshire gather pace

A NEW website promoting the Ayrshire Growth Deal and the range of ambitious projects for the region has been launched.

The UK and Scottish governments are each investing £103 million in the deal, along with a further £45.5 million from the three Ayrshire Councils.  The two governments and three Ayrshire councils signed the full deal agreement in November 2020, starting the delivery of a 10-15 year programme of transformative projects across the region.

And with some projects now nearing the delivery stage, with work set to start imminently, a website –www.ayrshiregrowthdeal.co.uk –  will provide more details and give regular updates and progress reports.

As well as a news section, there will be pictures, frequently answered questions and all you need to know about the Deal which has the potential to transform the region.

The signing of the deal is the culmination of five years’ work by the councils, partner organisations and both governments.

The deal will galvanise efforts to develop key strategic sites and sectors in Ayrshire.  It will help leverage private sector investment of more than £300 million, with the potential of creating up to 7,000 new jobs.

Speaking as the website went live, Councillor Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council and chair of the Joint Committee said: “When we signed off the financial arrangements in November we always knew that 2021 was the year that we would be able to drive forward with our Ayrshire Growth Deal ambitions.

“With us now pressing ahead with the plans we felt this was the time to launch our website which will help us provide relevant information and allow people to track our progress.

“Obviously the last few months have been uncertain for all of us. But throughout the ongoing pandemic we have been steadfast in our commitment to the Ayrshire Growth Deal and the belief that better times are ahead.

“We hope the website reflects our aspirations and will give us a platform to provide regular updates.”

A range of projects will be delivered across Ayrshire with a clear focus on innovation, productivity and inequality.  The deal will create new business spaces, improve infrastructure and connectivity, and boost research and development ventures, while growing local talent and providing new opportunities and routes into employment for people throughout Ayrshire.

Construction at HALO Kilmarnock is already well underway to transform the former Johnnie Walker site into a dynamic commercial, educational and advanced training hub, with focus on sustainability and low carbon energy.

Other projects already progressing include the National Energy Research Demonstrator Project in Cumnock, which will develop leading edge technologies for energy generation and storage.  At Prestwick, a major programme will strengthen its position as a UK centre of excellence in space and aerospace, while the development and regeneration of The Great Harbour, at Irvine Harbourside and Ardeer, will create a unique coastal tourist destination.

The Deal will also look to greatly improve digital connectivity across the region. The proposals represent a tremendous opportunity to improve the well-being of communities and the economy.