Investment: New enterprise areas should encourage growth. Pic: © STV
The Scottish Government has unveiled plans to support some of the country’s most prominent industries in an effort to boost economic growth.
It is hoped that the four newly created enterprise areas could create new jobs and encourage private investment across Scotland.
The enterprise areas will focus on burgeoning industries – life sciences, low carbon & renewables – one area in the north and another in the east – and general manufacturing.
With 14 sites now chosen over the four areas, the government will now agree on special incentives to encourage private investment.
The life sciences area will concentrate on investment at Irvine Innovation and Industry Park and sites in Forres, Inverness, Edinburgh and Midlothian to be developed.
In the north of Scotland, Hatston and Lyness, both in Orkney, Arnish and the Western Isles and nigg and Scrabster in the Highlands will be included in the low carbon & renewables enterprise area, while in the east the focus will be on Dundee Port and Port of Leith in Edinburgh.
The general manufacturing enterprise area will encourage growth at Creative Clyde in Glasgow and Prestwick in Ayrshire.
John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, said: “As a government we are doing all we can to support jobs and create the best possible business conditions to achieve sustainable economic growth for Scotland. Enterprise Areas are another means to help us achieve this and form a key part of our government economic strategy.
“We have worked closely with our enterprise agencies to select sites which can exploit opportunities in growth sectors and in many cases these will help create jobs in areas of Scotland that are facing challenging economic conditions.
“They represent the strategic locations in our key sectors with clear, achievable opportunities for development in the short term.”
It is hoped that the enterprise areas will be operational from April.
Jim McFarlane, Scottish Enterprise managing director of operations, said: “The new Enterprise Area programme is great news for Scotland and will be key to encouraging greater business growth and investment.
“We particularly welcome the focus on manufacturing and anticipate that all the designated areas will offer significant potential to stimulate and deliver new jobs in some of Scotland’s leading industry sectors such as renewable energy, life sciences and creative industries.”