A new approach to the regeneration and economic development of Inverclyde was approved by the Riverside Inverclyde Board in March 2014, with approval being given to a joint enterprise with Inverclyde Councilâ€™s Regeneration Team. TheÂ Inverclyde Economic Development & Regeneration Plan 2014-2017Â is based on the two key local regeneration agencies working more closely together towards shared priorities and objectives, pooling resources and efforts to maximise the economic potential of the area, and achieve better outcomes for our businesses, residents and communities.
Inverclyde Council Leader, Stephen McCabe, said: â€œWorking together for the wider benefit of Inverclyde and our economy are absolutely crucial as we move forward. Through more integrated partnership working, we will improve the effectiveness and impact of our combined activities and investments, while at the same time maximise our efficiency and value for money. The Plan focuses on the projects, investments and services to be delivered or led directly by Inverclyde Councilâ€™s regeneration team and Riverside Inverclyde, building on existing plans and financial commitments and also establishing new actions to be taken forward and delivered over the next three yearsâ€?.
Riverside Inverclydeâ€™s new Chair, Dr Gerry McCarthy of Texas Instruments added: â€œWith public funding becoming increasingly scarce, the Plan identifies the key priorities and projects that could be delivered by maximising the best use of the monies, skills and resource across the two organisationsâ€?.
Allan McQuade, Business Infrastructure Director at Scottish Enterprise, is confident the Plan strikes the right balance between ambition and what is deliverable, saying: â€œThere are six key priorities identified for Inverclyde, and Scottish Enterprise fully supports this approach. With the development of this Plan, Inverclyde Council and Riverside Inverclyde have demonstrated the flexibility, co-operation and vision required to realise Inverclydeâ€™s potential in a harsh public sector economic climateâ€?.
The six key priorities are :
- To grow and diversify the business base;
- To increase Inverclydeâ€™s capacity to accommodate private sector jobs;
- To boost skill levels and reduce worklessness;
- To accelerate the regeneration of strategic employment sites and town centres;
- To progress the renewal and economic regeneration of the most disadvantaged areas of Inverclyde; and
- To co-ordinate action and investment with our partners.
Riverside Inverclydeâ€™s main focus will be on physical regeneration projects such as continuing the phased refurbishment of Custom House; the creation of a Small Business Centre in Port Glasgow; the further development of Kelburn industrial estate; the Cartsdyke/Cartsburn site; town centresâ€™ regeneration; and ongoing upgrading/refurbishment of the successful industrial and business portfolio.
The focus of Inverclyde Councilâ€™s regeneration will be primarily on business support; employability; marketing and investment attraction; securing external sources of funding; and strategy and policy.Â Â
Inverclyde Chief Executive John Mundell stated : â€œThe Scottish Governmentâ€™s Local Government & regeneration committeeâ€™s recent report recognises the importance of community-led regeneration initiatives, and the proposed Single Operating Plan reflects and supports this policy. We will continue to proactively engage communities in the development, design and delivery of regeneration and economic development activities in Inverclydeâ€?.