Glasgow Prestwick Spaceport is just one of the growth areas being looked at as part of the Ayrshire Growth Deal
Ambitious business proposals to transform Ayrshire's economic prospects are to be submitted to the UK and Scottish Governments following a landmark agreement. All three Ayrshire Councils have now approved moves to secure more than £350 million through the Ayrshire Growth Deal (AGD), after a decision at South Ayrshire Council to rubber stamp the plans.
The Strategic Business Case, recently approved by North and East Ayrshire Councils, was agreed at a meeting of South Ayrshire Council on Thursday 6 October. Councillors also agreed to provide £70,000 from reserves to help support work on the project until the end of September 2017.
The AGD aims to develop and build on the success of the area's key industries, including: aerospace and space, life sciences, and manufacturing. With more than 50% of Scotland's aerospace employees based at Prestwick, and with Glasgow Prestwick Airport's work to become the UK's first licensed spaceport, South Ayrshire is in a strong position to capitalise on the economic opportunities these high value, high growth sectors present.
The AGD will also seek to enhance Ayrshire's coast and capitalise on the opportunities that Ayrshire's harbours and ports provide. Proposed projects will make a major contribution to the delivery of national tourism strategies such as 'Awakening the Giant' (marine tourism) as well as providing opportunities to address issues such as the provision of land for the development of new housing.
Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council said, "All three Councils stand to reap the rewards of the Ayrshire Growth Deal, and we're now well placed to take this project forward as we work to realise future growth and create new jobs.
"One of our major focal points is the aerospace and space sectors in Prestwick, which is already home to one of the UK's leading aerospace clusters, and which could soon become Britain's first operational spaceport.
"By pooling our resources and taking a partnership approach we stand the best chance of delivering benefits to all parts of Ayrshire as well as to the broader national economy, something that will allow local businesses to stand toe-to-toe with international competition."
Now that all three Ayrshire Councils have agreed the Strategic Business Case the document can be submitted to the UK and Scottish Governments for consideration. If approved, the AGD could be implemented from mid-2017.
The Strategic Business Case can be found here