Peel Ports has revealed the plans for its major port and industrial centre at Hunterston on the Firth of Clyde, one of Scotland’s most important development sites comprising a 300 acre brownfield footprint, deepwater facilities and rail connections.
It is calling on North Ayrshire residents and businesses to share their opinions about potential uses of the site, which is expected to support over 1,700 jobs and add over £140 million in economic value to Scotland.
The company has published its vision for Hunterston and how it intends to develop the site over the next 20 years.
The details are contained in a master plan, published on Thursday at the beginning of a six-week consultation process.
Andrew Hemphill, Port Director, Peel Ports Clydeport said: “No other single site in the UK offers Hunterston’s unrivalled combination of deep-water, extensive land area and transport links.
“This historic industrial site has the potential to transform Scotland’s prospects in a variety of key economic sectors, providing jobs, skills development, import and export opportunities for decades to come.
“The intended benefits that we have set out can only be achieved with the input of the local community, public sector agencies and commercial partners.
“That will help us to create a final version that reflects the shared ambitions of the people who live, work and invest in North Ayrshire.”
Kenneth Gibson, MSP for Cunninghame North, said: “Our young people need opportunities for high-quality, skilled jobs and I am determined to see those brought to Hunterston.
“It is a prime site for investment in infrastructure and attracting new companies that will provide such roles.
“Developing the site is also a one-in-a-generation chance for the region to lead the way with innovative and sustainable industries, potentially in the circular economy or renewable energy.
“One thing is for sure is that we much create a new future for employment in the region otherwise we will continue to see a drain of talent to Glasgow and beyond.
“I urge everyone with an interest in the health of North Ayrshire to read the masterplan and get involved in the debate.”
Peel Ports said it has already worked with North Ayrshire Council, Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and many businesses in preparing the master plan and is now consulting the public and others stakeholders about the next steps.
Peel Ports Group is the UK’s second largest port group, owning and operating six of the UK’s most important ports — Liverpool, Heysham, Manchester Ship Canal, Medway (Sheerness-Chatham), Clydeport and Great Yarmouth.
Peel Ports handles 60 million tonnes of cargo every year, with about 13% of the total UK major ports traffic flowing through ports operated by the group.
Headquartered in Liverpool, it employs around 1,600 staff and had revenue of £717 million and EBITDA of £239 million for the year ending March 31, 2018.