South Ayrshire Council Leader, Councillor Douglas Campbell, has said he is "deeply disappointed" at the decision not to locate a new Medicines Manufacturing Innovations Centre (MMIC) at the heart of a special Life Sciences Area in Ayrshire.
The bid to bring the multi-million pound centre and hundreds of direct and indirect jobs to the i3 life sciences business park in Irvine was a key element of the Ayrshire Growth Deal – the ambitious proposals for jobs and investment being driven forward by key partners in the public and private sectors.
Councillor Campbell said:
"After such a positive start to the year, with the Prime Minister herself announcing the start of formal talks for the Ayrshire Growth Deal, this really is a missed opportunity for everyone involved in this decision to show their support not just for Ayrshire – but for the potential we have to boost the Scottish and UK economies.
"This was a strong and robust bid that was based on hard evidence and facts about what we can deliver here in Ayrshire – a vibrant and world-class life sciences industry, fantastic infrastructure, a highly-skilled workforce, and the drive and ambition to succeed – and it's not clear why that wasn't enough.
"This decision not only affects our ambitions and plans for the Ayrshire Growth Deal – it places a significant impact on our expectations for our economy, our people and our places, who will bear the brunt in the years ahead.
"I'm deeply disappointed that Ayrshire has lost out on this significant investment and my focus now – alongside colleagues and partners in East and North Ayrshire – will to be ensure that we are taken seriously by those holding the purse strings and we do bring in the investment and jobs that our area, and our people, so desperately need.
"There's no doubt this is a real blow, but Ayrshire will continue to fight for what we want, need and deserve."