The event aimed to build on the momentum around the case for an Ayrshire Growth Deal
MPs from across Ayrshire teamed have up to host an event in Westminster aimed at promoting the region ahead of a Government decision on the Ayrshire Growth Deal.
The two-part event, organised by the four MPs representing Ayrshire constituencies, focused on Ayrshire's exceptional and award-winning food and drink producers in the morning, and some of our key industries in the afternoon. It also provided an opportunity to promote the Ayrshire Growth Deal to Government ministers, MPs and their staff ahead of the Spring Budget in March.
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."
Speaking after the event, Corri Wilson, MP for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock, said, "This was a great opportunity to showcase all Ayrshire has to offer in terms of our fantastic food and drink, and to promote Ayrshire as a great place to visit and to do business.
"MPs from across the UK had the opportunity to sample some of our delicious local produce, and to meet with business leaders from some of our most prestigious companies. With just a month to go before the next Budget statement, it was important to highlight our ambition and determination to make sure Ayrshire is able to play a full part in Scotland's economy."
Dr Philippa Whitford, MP for Central Ayrshire, added, "The Taste of Ayrshire event showcased some of our best and most unusual food products, ranging from Kilmarnock steak pies and fine cheeses to smoked salmon, venison or boar chorizo and Haggis pakora. Guests were blown away by the variety, quality and elegant presentation.
"The Businesses on display in the Ayrshire Showcase, in the afternoon, demonstrated the breadth and depth of potential in Ayrshire, from Life-sciences and Tourism to Aero-Space, which could be released with funding through an Ayrshire Growth Deal. It was good that representatives from the three Local Authorities were able to meet with officers from the Scottish Office and the Treasury to start discussions to try and secure development funding from the UK Government to match the commitment of the Scottish Government."
The Ayrshire Larder event featured produce from local dairy, beef and seafood suppliers, as well as farmhouse cheese makers, ice cream makers, bakers, brewers, smokehouses, chocolatiers and market gardeners. The Ayrshire Business Showcase featured representatives from a number of local businesses and organisations in the aerospace and space, life sciences, manufacturing, tourism and coastal sectors, as well education and training providers, and was supported by all three Ayrshire councils.