Scotland will receive £10M to boost regeneration projects in four local communities thanks to Local Economic Development Fund.

It has been announced in the Programme for Government that the Local Economic Development fund will provide £10M, in the communities of Clackmannanshire, Fife, Hawick and Irvine, to develop the local economy.

The money will be spent delivering a variety of business infrastructure projects, including an enterprise hub in Kincardine, small industrial workshops, spaces for small and growing businesses as well as new business space in the Irvine Enterprise Area.

Hawick will receive £3.625M, the biggest portion of funding, after suffering a series of setbacks including the loss of more than 100 jobs at Hawick Knitwear. The funding will go to Scottish Borders Council, who will deliver actions set out in the Hawick Action Plan, which aims to revitalise the town, encouraging start-ups and retaining growing business in the town.

Fife will receive £2.7M, with Fife Council using the money to support an enterprise hub and industrial workshops in Kindcardine, supporting diversification and business growth. This includes the construction of eight new industrial units in Kindcardine, with site infrastructure, for SMEs responding to the current shortage of such units in the area.

Clackmannanshire will receive £2M, with its council using the funding to support the creation of business units and a community enterprise hub. It will also support growing businesses relocate to bigger premises when expansion is needed.

Irvine will receive £1.675M for the Irvine Enterprise Area Project, for the Strategic Investment Campus Gateway Development enabling infrastructure. New business infrastructure will be constructed creating new industrial business space in addition to road and utility expansion, to attract growth companies and investment from life and chemical sciences sector, to the Irvine Life Science Enterprise Area.

A total of 3000 square metres of business space and 2.5 hectares of land will be brought back into use.

Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “As was made clear in the Programme for Government, we wanted to introduce measures to boost business confidence and keep our economy moving.

“In the wake of the EU referendum, we have committed to protecting Scotland’s interests, particularly our economic interests. We have been working to ensure that money reaches businesses, communities and individuals where it is most needed. Local businesses can be the engines of our economy and strong local economies are crucial to our success.”

The funding comes as part of the commitment by the Scottish Government, with the Town Centre Action Plan and the Town Centre First Principle. The Principle calls on central government, local authorities, communities and the wider public sector, to prioritise the heath of town centres in any decision-making processes.

Source: UK Construction Media

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