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 Council's Regeneration Team. The Inverclyde Economic Development & Regeneration Plan 2014-2017 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: "Working 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 Council'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 years."
Riverside Inverclyde's new Chair, Dr Gerry McCarthy of Texas Instruments added: "With 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 organisations."
Allan McQuade, Business Infrastructure Director at Scottish Enterprise, is confident the Plan strikes the right balance between ambition and what is deliverable, saying: "There 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 Inverclyde's potential in a harsh public sector economic climate".
The six key priorities are :
- To grow and diversify the business base;
- To increase Inverclyde'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 Inverclyde'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 centres' regeneration; and ongoing upgrading/refurbishment of the successful industrial and business portfolio.
The focus of Inverclyde Council's regeneration will be primarily on business support; employability; marketing and investment attraction; securing external sources of funding; and strategy and policy.
Inverclyde Chief Executive John Mundell stated: "The Scottish Government's Local Government & regeneration committee'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 Inverclyde."