Date lodged: 22 November 2018
To ask the Scottish Government how its economic strategy and other economic development initiatives will support high-skill, high-wage employment at Hunterston in North Ayrshire.
Answered by: Derek Mackay 4 December 2018
Scotland's Economic Strategy sets out the framework for delivering inclusive growth via boosting competitiveness and tackling inequality. At a national level, the Economic Action Plan - published in October of this year - sets out the wide range of actions that we are taking to deliver on our ambitions, including measures focused on place as well as increasing job creation and promoting fair work.
At a local and regional level, the Scottish Government has been working with North Ayrshire Council to undertake an inclusive growth diagnostic exercise to understand the barriers and opportunities for unlocking inclusive economic growth in the area.
We have also been working closely with North Ayrshire Council, and their sister councils in East and South Ayrshire, to develop the Ayrshire Growth Deal. Officials have supported the development and refinement of proposals: with several in North Ayrshire. We hope that the deal will bring significant investment to the region and be key to driving inclusive economic growth over the coming years. Our ambition is to be able to agree that deal, in partnership with the local authorities and the UK Government, in early 2019.
The collaborative working behind the growth deal extends to the Regional Economic Partnership which the Local Authorities have agreed to create: working with our enterprise and skills agencies, academia, the third sector and the private sector in order to ensure that resources and priorities are aligned in order to generate the best possible outcomes for the region. The authorities agreed an outline structure for this in October and November this year, and will be drafting a regional economic plan in consultation with the partners. I look forward to seeing the impact that this partnership can have on driving inclusive growth in Ayrshire.