A £5 million Scottish Government investment in the development of infrastructure is expected to unlock significant levels of private sector funding, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay confirmed.

An application by North Ayrshire Council through the Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) scheme has been approved with the council now set to work with the Scottish Futures Trust on more detailed businesses cases.

The £5 million will be used to construct roads and services within the i3 Irvine, Innovation and Industry Park and is expected to bring wider economic benefits of around 400 additional jobs, securing existing employment and investment in the and promoting the Irvine life sciences hub.

TIF allows councils to fund infrastructure by borrowing against future business rates that are generated as a result of attracting more businesses into the area. The new scheme was announced through the 2017-18 Government budget and follows pilot schemes operating in Glasgow and elsewhere. Around £30 million of public sector funding has so far generated a total investment of £175 million. This is expected to eventually generate £900 million of private sector investment across Scotland.

Mr Mackay said: “This investment in North Ayrshire will aid redevelopment and regeneration, creating attractive places to do business, which will unlock significant economic benefits.

“The TIF scheme is just one part of this Government’s innovative approach to investing in infrastructure. Boosting capital spending is the key to economic growth, supporting jobs, apprenticeships and helping the Scottish economy.”

Cunninghame North MSP Kenneth Gibson added: “I am delighted at the award of this funding. TIF provides another lever for North Ayrshire to enable and deliver inclusive growth and secure additional levels of private sector investment.

“This new TIF project can only boost North Ayrshire and bring essential employment to our people and communities.”

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