Future looks bright as investment zone plan moves forward

MSP Paul Wheelhouse and Falkirk Council leader Craig Martin meet at a Grangemouth Investment Zone
MSP Paul Wheelhouse and Falkirk Council leader Craig Martin meet at a Grangemouth Investment Zone

Some of the Falkirk area’s biggest players in the business field met to discuss ways to propel the area towards economic growth.

Falkirk Council leader Craig Martin and Scottish business minister Paul Wheelhouse were among the prominent figures who attended the Falkirk Economic Partnership meeting last week.

Made up of representatives of Falkirk Council, the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Forth Ports, CalaChem, Scottish Canals, Forth Valley College and various local business, the partnership looked at plans for a new Grangemouth Investment Zone.

The proposal aims to expand on the work being undertaken via the Falkirk Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) initiative, enabling infrastructure provision and energy and enterprise growth.

Councillor Martin said: “While TIF is delivering well, we seek the flexibility to create further growth and have had discussions with the Scottish Government regarding our investment zone opportunities.

“Following these recent discussions with Scottish Government and other stakeholders in relation to the development of this project, today’s meeting is another step towards the delivery of the agreement.

“The Scottish Government has indicated willingness to discuss this proposal further with a view to forming such an initiative. Discussions with UK Government on the proposal are also being pursued.”

Mr Wheelhouse underlined the Scottish Government’s commitment to working on the proposal.

He said: “We will bring together the Scottish Government and local government to commission work to develop the detail of the opportunities and specific projects that could be supported as part of the Grangemouth Investment Zone.

“Through this work, we want to ensure there is a clear vision for the area, focused on growth driven by local leadership and incorporating all sectors. We want to harness the combined potential of the assets and opportunities across the area.

“In developing more detailed proposals, we want to ensure they are linked to the range of potential funding streams and approaches. We will also make sure there is a clear link to sustainable economic outcomes in jobs and inclusive growth which are also in line with the Scottish Governments’ Economic Strategy.”