£200m growth deal confirmed for Ayrshire
David Mundell with representatives of East, North and South Ayrshire councils and local businesses at HALO Kilmarnock - Image credit: Scottish Government
Ayrshire is to get £200m of investment after the UK Government announced it will invest in a growth deal for the region.
Scottish secretary David Mundell made the announcement of £100m funding from the UK Government on a visit to HALO Kilmarnock, a regeneration project based in a former Diageo bottling plant, and Ayrshire College.
While the Scottish Government expressed displeasure that the deal had been announced by the UK Government alone rather than jointly, as had been the case with previous deals, infrastructure secretary Michael Matheson confirmed it would match the funding with an additional £100m.
The multi-million pound investment is intended to increase economic growth and create jobs in the south west.
The UK Government said that funding for specific projects will be confirmed within the coming weeks.
These are expected to focus on employability and skills programmes, innovation, aerospace and energy projects at Hunterston and Cumnock, as well as regeneration and improvements to digital connectivity.
David Mundell said: The UK Government’s £100 million investment in the Ayrshire Growth Deal will be transformative for the region, boosting jobs and prosperity right across Ayrshire.
“This brings UK Government investment in growth deals in Scotland to £1.2 billion, a huge commitment to growing Scotland’s economy.
We look forward to working with the Ayrshire councils, the Scottish Government and the private sector to finalise the details of the innovative projects to be funded through the growth deal.”
Michael Matheson said: “Whilst I am disappointed that the UK Government has decided to depart from previous practice of agreeing joint announcements on growth deal support, I am glad to see that the UK Government has finally moved to make its commitment to Ayrshire clear.
“This is something which we have been urging them to do for some time.
“The Scottish Government has already made clear our commitment to invest in the Ayrshire Growth Deal for some considerable time.
“And on the basis of our 50:50 approach to funding growth deals, we will of course match the £100m announced for Ayrshire by the UK Government.
“We will also continue our dialogue with our Ayrshire partners on those projects that they think will have the transformative effect on the Ayrshire economy that we all want to see.
“Finally, we look forward to being able to announce a heads of terms agreement as soon as possible, which will specify which projects will be supported by this joint investment.”