The team behind the £251 million Ayrshire Growth Deal say the difficult economic climate won’t derail their transformational plans for the region. Their second annual report – which plots the progress over 12 months – was released today and recognises the challenges of recent times but stresses ‘great progress has been made’.
The Deal was signed in 2020 after a culmination of four years’ work by the councils, partner organisations and both governments.
A range of projects are being delivered across Ayrshire with a clear focus on innovation, productivity and inequality. The Deal will create new business spaces, improve infrastructure and connectivity, and boost research and development ventures, while growing local talent and providing new opportunities and routes into employment for people throughout Ayrshire.
The second annual report details the extensive work being carried out behind the scenes – and highlights that projects are now moving from the development stage to being delivered.The report provides a summary of each of the projects and work that has happened between October 2021-September 2022. It also highlights some of the key positives in a busy 12 months.
- The amazing work being carried out at Halo in Kilmarnock – a key Ayrshire Growth Deal project – since its opening in 2022. It highlights the news that the PRA Group, a Nasdaq listed financial management company, has selected The Halo as their European HQ and they now occupy two floors of this innovative operation.
- Ambitious plans for the Aerospace/Space Programme focused at Prestwick Airport, with an opportunity for new international investment. Since finalising the report, this investment has now been confirmed with Mangata Networks, an innovative satellite-enabled cloud services company, choosing Prestwick as the location for its research & development activities as well as satellite manufacturing, space systems and core network operations. This is expected to create 575 jobs. Read more here.
- The official launch of the Community Wealth Building programme – the people-centred economic approach which strives to keep local money in the local economy – offering diverse programmes that seek to support local businesses. At this early stage of the programme over 500 businesses have been supported generating approximately £150,000 in investment for local business. This video by the team explains more.
- Progress in the Digital Process Manufacturing Centre at i3 Enterprise Area in Irvine, which is moving forward, with works close to being finalised, providing a pilot for the rest of the project
- Planning permission secured for the Community Renewable Energy project (CoRE) in Cumnock.
Councillor Martin Dowey, Chair of the Ayrshire Economic Joint Committee, said: “Since signing the Deal in 2020 it is fair to say we have entered uncharted economic territory with so many challenges places upon us at the same time.
“We’ve had the challenges of the global economy, the war in Ukraine and the legacy of both the COVID pandemic and Brexit so we are working in an environment of uncertainty.
“We have had to re-evaluate some of our time frames and budgets but believe we are plotting an exciting path forward.
“Our Annual Report shines a spotlight on the excellent work being carried out and we are delighted with the progress being made. The development at the Halo project is moving forward at great pace and it’s exciting that the PRA group have selected Halo as their European headquarters. That is a massive feather in cap for Ayrshire and everyone involved in the Growth Deal.
“We are on the brink of more international investment at our Commercial Space project at Prestwick Airport, while the work by the Community Wealth Building team has been really powerful in supporting local business and increasing awareness, both locally and nationally, of this new economic model.
“We are optimistic about the year ahead and look forward to reaching more milestones in the coming months.”