North Ayrshire Council is tackling the harsh impact of the coronavirus pandemic with an ambitious ‘Local Green New Deal’ in a bid to rebuild the economy in a fairer and greener way.

Earlier this year, North Ayrshire Council became the first in Scotland to become a Community Wealth Building (CWB) council – focused on setting out a new economic model that works for people, place and planet.

The £8.8 million Investment Fund will be used as a key element in Green New Deal by incorporating various sustainable elements into the plan. They include maximising renewable energy generation by using the council’s land and a tree planting programme to support carbon absorption.

The Ayrshire Growth Deal, boasting £250 million, is also central in supporting the economic recovery. It endeavours to create jobs in the community at a time when investment has never been more vital. It sets out to provide assistance to local businesses, social enterprises, local supply chains and the transition to a green economy. Priority will be given to groups hardest hit by the economic impact of COVID-19, including a focus on young people.

Council Leader Joe Cullinane said: “This is one of the most ambitious approaches to economic recovery and renewal anywhere in the UK and our Green New Deal for North Ayrshire will ensure economic, social and environmental justice for our communities.”