Up to 180 jobs could be created at the BioCity Scotland base in Newhouse, First Minisiter Nicola Sturgeon has announced.
Ms Sturgeon visited the site on Monday with Deputy First Minister John Swinney as part of the Scottish Government’s series of travelling Cabinets.
The base is Scotland’s latest proposed ‘Enterprise Area’, which could lead to the jobs boost over the next five years.
And based on growth rates already seen across the existing 15 Enterprise Areas (EAs) across Scotland, a potential 1,800 jobs could be supported by the extension of the EA status until 2020.
The First Minister announced plans to designate Biocity as an Enterprise Area in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government earlier this month, together with the extension of existing Enterprise Areas to 2020.
She said: “Enterprise Areas in Scotland at sites like Irvine and Edinburgh’s Bioquarter are already doing a terrific job creating new economic opportunities, new partnerships with education and new jobs,.
“Based on patterns of growth already seen at these existing sites, we expect potentially 1,800 new jobs in Scotland’s Enterprise Areas between now and 2020.
“At Biocity we expect to see up to 180 new jobs – highly skilled and high-value jobs in an area where we are continuing to work hard with partners to make sure the benefits of economic growth are felt across the board.”
D r Diane Harbison, managing director of BioCity Scotland, added: “The boost that having Enterprise Area status will give to BioCity Scotland is huge.
“Businesses based here will now be able to take advantage of business rates relief, faster planning applications, skills support and assistance in accessing international markets.
“We are already home to some potentially world-class life science businesses, and we hope that this announcement will help us attract even more, bringing with them more high quality jobs for the area.
“It is also great news for our existing tenants, who will be able to invest the money they save in rates into developing new technologies, hiring more staff, purchasing new equipment or expanding into new markets.”