Ayrshire Growth Deal ‘Imminent’ says MSP Brian Whittle
Brian Whittle MSP has been singing the praises of Ayrshire during a debate in the Scottish Parliament.
The South Scotland MSP used his time during a discussion of City Deals and Regional Economic Partnerships to highlight the opportunities for businesses already working in Ayrshire.
He also told the Chamber that he had spoken to Secretary of State David Mundell MP and been promised that an official agreement was imminent, possibly as soon as the next couple of weeks.
The news comes as the three Ayrshire councils announced they would be combining their economic developments into a Regional Economic Partnership, giving them more clout and making it easier to compete against the financial pull of cities like Glasgow.
During the debate, Brian talked about how the deal, worth hundreds of millions of pounds, could be a huge boost to businesses already working across Ayrshire, from fire engine maker Emergency One in Cumnock, to custom PC builder and repairer Utopia Computers in Kilmarnock.
The MSP was also keen to highlight the importance of improving transport links to unlock the full potential of the region, particularly trunk roads like the A77 and the A76 as well as the Bellfield interchange, which has long been a source of congestion at peak times.
Pointing to the plans in the deal to turn Cumnock into a hub for renewable energy innovation, the MSP called for further exploration of proposals to reopen Cumnock railway station.
Brian Whittle MSP said:
“I’m delighted to have any opportunity to tell people about the amazing range of businesses working across Ayrshire. Along with investment by the Scottish Government in our transport network, the Ayrshire Growth Deal can supercharge the area’s economy for the coming years.
"Since becoming an MSP, I’ve been pushing the UK and Scottish Governments to agree the terms of the deal and keep the process moving. I’m pleased the Secretary of State for Scotland has confirmed the deal is set to be agreed and I look forward to seeing the plans in the deal become a reality.”