Speculation regarding the possible withdrawal of public funding for the Irvine Bay Regeneration Company appears to have been silenced following a meeting with SNP Government Minister Alex Neil.
The crunch meeting took place last Wednesday (November 9) and was attended by local interested parties, including representatives of the regeneration company, North Ayrshire Council and MSPs Margaret Burgess and Kenneth Gibson. Alex Neil is believed to have confirmed the SNP Government will guarantee Irvine Bay’s core funding for a four year period, covering the time-span of the company’s current business plan.
Reacting to the news, Irvine Bay Chief Executive Patrick Wiggins said, “We are grateful to the Scottish Government for their continued support. The fact the Cabinet Secretary Alex Neil has made a number of visits to view the work being done by Irvine Bay has undoubtedly helped him gain a first-hand view of the value of the work that is being carried out.”
North Ayrshire Council’s Labour leader, Cllr David O’Neill, was “delighted” the SNP Government had confirmed continued funding, stating, “We are happy that they recognise our efforts to breathe much-needed new life into the area. This outcome proves how effective local partnership working can be, with representatives from across the political spectrum and all tiers of government pulling together for the good of North Ayrshire and its people.”
Cunninghame South’s SNP MSP Margaret Burgess added, “The Cabinet Secretary was well aware of the problems of North Ayrshire and, despite Westminster’s 40 per cent cut in capital funding, gave us the clarification we wanted on Irvine Bay’s future and the continuation of its core funding.
“This is good news for Cunninghame South and good news for North Ayrshire.”