Hi- tech plan could bring 13,000 jobs
National energy centre proposal could be boost area
Cumnock could become home to a hi- tech national energy centre.
Scant details of the venture dubbed the ‘ National Energy Research and Demonstration Centre’ emerged at a council meeting last week.
East Ayrshire Council did not reveal any other information about the proposal when questioned.
It is part of the area’s Ayrshire Growth Deal bid to the UK and Scottish Government to secure more than £ 300 million.
A full council meeting revealed that 13,000 jobs could be created as part of the bid.
Twenty- one proposals have been made from all the three councils in Ayrshire, which will be considered by the Scottish and UK Governments. The councils hope to bag £ 324m of public cash to transform the area.
The economic growth programme for East Ayrshire aims for £ 90m to be invested in the energy hub, industrial space at Moorfield in Kilmarnock and other projects.
Commenting on the overall figure of £ 324m, council depute executive Alex McPhee told councillors that it could have been three times that amount.
But he added: “We tried to be realistic.”
However, he said that Brexit may put uncertainty on matters.
He listed proposals for East Ayrshire including the location of the national energy research hub at Cumnock along with other projects.
SNP councillor Jim Roberts said: “We are not interested in City Deals. We are looking at what the Ayrshire Growth Deal can do for Ayrshire.”
He called for senior politicians to come to the area to have talks on the deal.
It is hoped the Ayrshire Growth Deal proposal will kickstart economic growth, which has been stagnant for years.
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland Lord Duncan of Springbank visited all the council areas recently to discuss the deal.
Following the visit North Ayrshire Council leader Joe Cullinane said: “We are now closing in on concluding a deal and feel this could now be a matter of weeks away.”
The councils are working alongside national agencies and private firms need the money to make the dream a reality.
We’re not interested in City Deals. We’re looking at what the Ayrshire Growth Deal can do
Growth Councillor Jim Roberts