The Prime Minister met staff at Alex Begg textile factory in Ayr at the end of March as part of a day-long tour to hear the views of businesses and families across the breadth of the UK as we mark one year to our European Union exit.
The PM has been using her visits to listen to the priorities of different sectors and communities, as well as set out her resolve to strengthening the bonds that unite our four nations as we leave the EU and in the years ahead.
Her tour of Alex Begg factory came as the UK government announced it would formally begin talks with local partners for a new Growth Deal for Ayrshire. The deal is expected to significantly bolster the region’s economy, create jobs and boost productivity.
Prime Minister Theresa May said:
"It is my mission to deliver a Brexit deal that works for Scotland and the whole of the UK, and today I’ve been speaking to workers here in Ayr about what our departure from the EU means to them.
I am determined that the Brexit we pursue is one that strengthens the bonds that unite us - because I believe ours is the world’s most successful union. Scotland - with its diverse sectors ranging from wool, salmon and whisky production, to world-leading universities, tech hubs and cultural institutions - is such a significant contributor to our United Kingdom. I want to see it prosper as we forge a new role for ourselves in the world.
That’s why we’re continuing to back Scotland and I am pleased today to announce we are opening talks over a new Ayrshire Growth Deal that should significantly boost the local economy and opportunities for people here."
Growth Deals are part of the UK Government’s long-standing commitment to directly invest in Scotland’s future.
They give communities the financial backing to promote economic growth, while proposals come from local partners themselves, allowing them to develop projects that place Scotland at the forefront of innovation, technology and connectivity.
To date, the UK Government has committed over £1 billion in City Region Deals in Scotland, with negotiations underway on deals with Stirling and Clackmannanshire and Tay Cities, as well as the innovative cross border Borderlands Growth Deal.
On the Ayrshire deal, discussions with the three local authorities involved - North, East and South Ayrshire – to develop proposals, as well as with the Scottish Government and other partners, will soon begin.
The textile manufacturer Alex Begg has been established in Scotland since 1866 and creates quality woven scarves and throws for sale across the world, including key markets in Japan and the USA.
Ian Laird Managing Director for Alex Begg, said:
"We are delighted that the Prime Minister has taken the time to visit our business which has 150 years of heritage of designing and manufacturing luxury scarves and throws in the West coast of Scotland. Much of our recent sales growth and corresponding increase in employment has been achieved in export markets and we welcomed discussing the importance of trading terms both within the EU and beyond."
Original article here.