MPs from across Ayrshire teamed up to host an event in Westminster aimed at promoting the region ahead of a Government decision on the Ayrshire Growth Deal.
The two-part event, organised by the four MPs representing Ayrshire constituencies, Corri Wilson, Alan Brown, Philippa Whitford and Patricia Gibson, focused on Ayrshire’s exceptional and award-winning food and drink producers in the morning, and some of our key industries in the afternoon.
It also provided an opportunity to promote the Ayrshire Growth Deal to Government ministers, MPs and their staff ahead of the Spring Budget in March.
Speaking after the event, Corri Wilson, MP for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock, said: “This was a great opportunity to showcase all Ayrshire has to offer in terms of our fantastic food and drink, and to promote Ayrshire as a great place to visit and to do business.
“MPs from across the UK had the opportunity to sample some of our delicious local produce, and to meet with business leaders from some of our most prestigious companies.
“With just a month to go before the next Budget statement, it was important to highlight our ambition and determination to make sure Ayrshire is able to play a full part in Scotland’s economy.”
The Ayrshire Larder event featured produce from local dairy, beef and seafood suppliers, as well as farmhouse cheese makers, ice cream makers, bakers, brewers, smokehouses, chocolatiers and market gardeners.
The Ayrshire Business Showcase featured representatives from a number of local businesses and organisations in the aerospace and space, life sciences, manufacturing, tourism and coastal sectors, as well education and training providers, and was supported by all three Ayrshire local authorities.
The strategic business case for the AGD was submitted to both the Scottish and UK Governments for consideration in Autumn 2016, and already has the backing of the Scottish Government.
A key aim of the event was to secure a commitment to the Ayrshire Growth Deal from the UK Government – similar to the support for the ambitious proposals which has already been given by the Scottish Government.
A total of £360 million is being sought from all funding streams to deliver the Ayrshire Growth Deal.