NORTH Ayrshire’s MP and MSP have welcomed the news on Growth Deal funding but have hit out at the UK Government’s shortfall.

Patricia Gibson MP said: “Having pursued this deal for more than two years, I am delighted that the UK Government has confirmed it will provide £100 million towards it, a figure immediately matched by the SNP Government. Nevertheless, the figure first sought in 2016 from both governments totalled £359.8 million, reduced two years later to £324 million.

“When on November 13 I met with Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business to press the UK Government to fund their share of, and implement, the Ayrshire Growth Deal, there was no indication that the total sum delivered would fall to £200 million. Whilst public money is there primarily to lever in private funding of up to £2 billion over 15 years, a reduction in ‘seed’ money by both governments makes it more difficult to achieve the Deal’s aims; 13,000 new jobs and a transformation of the Ayrshire economy.

“I have already shared my concerns with Scottish Secretary David Mundell MP and will meet him on Tuesday, February 5 to discuss increasing UK Government support.”

Cunninghame North MSP, Kenneth Gibson, added: “This failure of ambition by the Tory Government makes it much more difficult to achieve inclusive growth and prosperity in Ayrshire. However, the SNP Government has only matched UK Government funding which is equally disappointing. Although the UK Government cut its contribution by £62 million, the SNP Government should have delivered its full £162 million share and I will be urging it to do so.

“Both Westminster and Holyrood should fully support those ambitious plans and I will meet with Infrastructure Secretary Michael Matheson MSP to press Ayrshire’s case further.”