WORK on a major Ayrshire Growth Deal project which will see state-of-the-art facilities developed in Irvine has begun.
Councillor Marie Burns, Leader of North Ayrshire Council and chair of the Ayrshire Economic Joint Committee, carried out the ceremonial duties to mark the start of construction at the i3 area in Irvine.
This is the first phase of the i3 Advanced Manufacturing Flexible Space Programme that’s being supported by £15 million of funding through the Ayrshire Growth Deal with £11m from the Scottish Government and £4m from North Ayrshire Council.
Muir Construction Ltd are carrying out the initial £4m development which will see them construct an 18,000 square feet industrial unit and related yard space.
The Growth Deal project is looking to provide flexible modern business space for local companies looking to expand and grow or for inward investment opportunities. This development will complement the Council’s other Ayrshire Growth Deal project at i3 – the Digital Process Manufacturing Centre (DPMC) which is in partnership with the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) and CPI, located immediately adjacent to the flexible space Councillor Burns said: “This is a significant milestone and we are absolutely delighted to see work underway on one of our key Growth Deal projects.
“The i3 area is a key strategic site which already has a wide and varied business base and home to around 40 companies including GSK, Vogel and Booth Welsh. We are creating a business and innovative hub and we want to provide even more opportunities to attract large- scale inward investment opportunities to support advanced manufacturing uses.
“We very much look forward to work progressing and look forward to seeing the final results when work is completed later next year.”
When finished the new unit will be extremely energy efficient and built with high performing sustainability. It will be capable of being subdivided into a maximum of four units and of being expanded. There are plans for a second facility in close proximity to the first phase.
This will be part of a wider strategy for the i3 area that is being developed to promote investment and development opportunities linked to business growth and innovation, digital and low carbon and provides significant opportunities for commercial investment in high value sectors that provides opportunities for our local businesses and for employment and skills development opportunities.
Muir Construction’s Business Development Director, David Fairweather said “We are delighted to be involved at ground level on the i3 Advanced Manufacturing Flexible Space Programme and to join the North Ayrshire Council’s team in delivering exceptional, high spec accommodation. Our continued presence in the North Ayrshire area will help us sustain our support for the local community and we are really looking forward to continuing our programme of careers advice for schools in the area and charity support work.”
Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy Neil Gray said: “The ground-breaking ceremony for flexible business space at i3 is a significant milestone in the Ayrshire Growth Deal. It will help satisfy the demand for advanced manufacturing space from the chemical and life sciences sectors in the region.
“By allowing local businesses to grow, attract more inward investment and create new jobs, the space will make a vital contribution to Scotland’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation. That is why the Scottish Government is investing £11 million of its £103 million Ayrshire Deal investment in this project.”