Ambitious plans for a key strategic site in North Ayrshire are moving forward.

The i3 area in Irvine – already home to around 30 businesses with some 1,000 employees and significant companies such as GSK – is already well established but there is scope for even more development.

Thanks to £21million Ayrshire Growth Deal funding, the council is looking to maximise the full potential of the area.

The Growth deal funding will focus on two key projects that complement each other and have the potential to create jobs and attract investment.

The first of these projects is the construction of new state-of-the art advanced manufacturing business space (or flexible space) that will help encourage even more businesses into an area. This would be the first new business space with more developed over the coming years.

The business space accounts for £15m of the Growth Deal money with the remaining £6m on the development of a Digital Processing Manufacturing Centre (DPMC).

The DPMC project will provide services for businesses within process manufacturing sectors that are seeking to improve their productivity and modernise their processes through digital automation.

Sectors include pharmaceutical products, oil & gas, chemicals and chemical products, agrochemicals , food and drink, fast moving consumer goods and water.

Karen Yeomans, Director Growth and Investment said: “The i3 area is already an established site but there is potential for much more. The next few years will be exciting and we’re sure the development can have a positive impact for the economy.”