Update, 8th March 2019
It was a pleasure to attend the signing today of the Ayrshire Growth Deal ‘heads of terms’ agreement. I am proud of how local authorities, the UK and Scottish Governments and local MPs have come together to see this through, and the reward is a total of £251.5m funding secured today for local projects and investment. To say I am delighted is an understatement!
Update, 5th February 2019: £240m Funding Secured
I am continuing to work with the Secretary of State for Scotland and local councils on the Ayrshire Growth Deal, and I am delighted to share with you that the UK Government has this week promised £100m to support the twenty-one projects confirmed at our Ayrshire Growth Deal Reception last month. This will be matched by £100m from the Scottish Government and £40m from the three councils. It is a significant sum, a testament to the passion of all those involved and, whilst a little below the total I had been hoping for, it is a tremendous boost and will allow us to move forward on the deal with confidence. I will continue to do all I can to support this.
Update, 15th January 2019: Ayrshire Growth Deal Reception
I was delighted this evening to bring together Members of Parliament, leaders and chief executives of the three Ayrshire councils and local businesses at the Scotland Office, by courtesy of the Secretary of State. This was in order to discuss and drive forward progress on the Ayrshire Growth Deal. As Mr Mundell outlined in his opening remarks, much progress has been made in recent months and we are very close to signing the heads of terms agreements. This is very encouraging news.
The deal currently 21 projects in planning, should hopefully secure around £300m of public sector investment, unlock £2bn from the private sector and stimulate industry to create around 10,000 new jobs locally. I will continue to do what I can to support it.
Update, 8th January 2019: Question to the Business Secretary
After kindly agreeing to my request for an Ayrshire Growth Deal reception, the Secretary of State for Scotland will be hosting this meeting next week. It will bring together the Chief Executives and Leaders from the local councils, business leaders and local MPs to discuss the deal and how we can keep the momentum.
Ahead of this, I asked a question today to the Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, who assured me of continuing progress in the coming weeks. I also met with Mr Clark this week to discuss the deal in detail. I feel very strongly that the Growth Deal will provide a great many benefits to the residents of Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock and I will do all I can to ensure the minimum obstacles to its success.
I am working with the Ayrshire councils and the UK Government to help guide the Ayrshire Growth Deal forward, and I am in ongoing communication with the councils, the Scottish Office and various Government ministers to achieve this. I will do whatever I can, as I know all Ayrshire Members of Parliament are also doing, to ensure the Growth Deal is as effective as possible.
I am keen to organise a growth deal reception, where all parties can come together to discuss the most effective way forward, and recently wrote to the Secretary of State for Scotland to suggest this. His response was as follows:
In addition, my recent contributions in Parliament are as follows:
Treasury Questions, 5 March 2019
Bill Grant MP
Does my hon. Friend the Minister agree that the Ayrshire growth deal and other growth deals nationally can act as a catalyst for jobs and productivity? Will he do all he can to support that growth deal?
The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Robert Jenrick MP
Absolutely. We are very excited about the £100 million Ayrshire growth deal and will continue to support that part of Scotland.
Debate on Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal, 18 February 2019
Bill Grant MP
I compliment my hon. Friend on securing this debate and on sharing his enthusiasm for the Stirling and Clackmannanshire growth deal. Will he join me in commending the hard work of the teams at the three Ayrshire councils that have come together to drive this forward?
Stephen Kerr MP
I absolutely commend the council teams, and I will talk about Stirling Council if I have time.
Business Questions, 8 January 2019
Bill Grant MP
Sadly, my constituency has an unemployment rate of 6%, which is twice the UK average. What progress has been made or can be made on the Ayrshire growth deal, which is essential to Ayrshire’s future prosperity?
The Secretary of State for Business, the Rt Hon Greg Clark MP
I know that my hon. Friend has been a vociferous champion of the Ayrshire growth deal, which was referred to in the Budget. I hope that we will see some progress on it in the next few weeks. For Cumnock in particular, the prospects will be very attractive. For a town that has contributed significantly over the years, including to UK energy supplies and industrial goods, it will be a fitting tribute—
Order. We are extremely grateful to the Secretary of State.
Prime Minister's Questions, 27 June 2018
Bill Grant MP
Recently, my right hon. Friend visited my constituency where she announced the Ayrshire growth deal. Does she agree that the deal has the potential to transform the local economy, and may I ask what steps the Government are taking to drive the matter forward?
The Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Theresa May MP
I was very happy to visit my hon. Friend’s constituency and to highlight the opportunities that the Ayrshire growth deal gives us. As he says, it is important locally, regionally and nationally because of the economic benefit that it can bring. Negotiations have now commenced between both Governments and the Ayrshire councils on how to implement the deal. I understand that officials met on Monday this week to discuss aerospace and proposals for Prestwick, and the work is ongoing across Ayrshire. Therefore, the work is continuing and I can assure him that we recognise the importance of the Ayrshire growth deal.
Scottish Questions, 25 April 2018
Bill Grant MP
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Does my right hon. Friend agree that the city and growth deals that cover the vast majority of Scotland are a great example of what can be achieved when Governments and authorities work closely together rather than picking a fight with one another?
The Secretary of State for Scotland, the Rt Hon David Mundell MP
I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend. Let me add that it is his disposition—his bonhomie—that takes deals and arrangements forward, rather than the negativity and hostility of some.
(Image by courtesy of South Ayrshire Council)