Ruth Maguire MSP has welcomed today’s announcement that the Ayrshire Growth Deal has been signed off, ratifying the arrangements for major financial investment into the region.

The deal will bring a total of £251 million worth of investment into the area, with ambitions to secure private sector investment with the potential to create up to 7,000 jobs in the area.

This deal follows four years of collaboration between North, South and East Ayrshire Councils, the Scottish and UK Governments and partner organisations.

Among the projects outlined as part of the deal is a combined £14 million to develop The Great Harbour at Irvine Harbourside and Ardeer to create a national waterfront destination aimed at transforming the tourism potential of the Ayrshire and Clyde coast.

The SNP MSP for Cunninghame South said: “This is a significant day for the future of Ayrshire. At this time of financial uncertainty, the investment that will flow from this Growth Deal will be a shot in the arm for our local economy.

“The possibilities and opportunities this will create for North Ayrshire are very exciting and will create high quality, sustainable jobs for the area.

“This also presents an opportunity for inequalities, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic, to be addressed as we hope to all share in the successes that this Deal will bring.

“North Ayrshire, and indeed, all of Ayrshire, has been hard hit by the disruption caused throughout the year and while the recovery from this won’t take place overnight, this is some very welcome long term news. I look forward to working with partners across North Ayrshire as the Growth Deal is implemented.”

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson, said: “In a period of economic uncertainty and challenge, delivery of the Ayrshire Growth Deal is more important than ever with the projects re-invigorating the regional economy.

“I appreciate all the hard work that the three councils across Ayrshire and their partners have put in to get us to this point.

“We will continue to work with the three Ayrshire Councils and partners to help deliver the projects that will unlock investment and drive inclusive growth across the region.”

The Ayrshire Growth Deal Document can be viewed online.