Four Enterprise Areas for Scotland - fourteen sites to focus on key growth sectors

Four enterprise areas are to be created in Scotland with an emphasis on some of our most dynamic industries with the greatest potential to create new employment opportunities, stimulate private investment and boost economic growth.

Finance Secretary John Swinney announced the 14 sites on a visit to GlaxoSmithKline in Irvine, which will form part of the Life Sciences Enterprise Area.

There is huge potential for Scotland’s life sciences industries which have an annual turnover of £3 billion and Irvine will be joined by sites in Moray, the Highlands, Edinburgh and Midlothian.

There are two proposed Enterprise Areas for Low Carbon and Renewables to capitalise on Scotland’s unrivalled potential in these technologies. A recent report showed that £750 million of new renewable electricity projects started generating in Scotland over past year and that there is a pipeline of 17 Gigawatts of renewable electricity worth £46 billion and thousands of jobs.

The Renewable Energy Enterprise East Area will comprise the Port of Dundee and the Port of Leith, while the Renewable Energy Enterprise North Area will focus on Hatson and Lyness in Orkney, Arnish in the Western Isles and Nigg and Scrabster in the Highlands.

In order to ensure that Scotland builds on its competitive advantages across a number of sectors the final Enterprise Area will cover other manufacturing and growth sector opportunities. It will encompass Creative Clyde in Glasgow and Prestwick International (aerospace).

With the locations now established the Scottish Government will go on to agree the specific incentives that will be offered to encourage private investment at each of the sites in the Enterprise Areas.

Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth John Swinney said: “As a Government we are doing all we can to support jobs and create the best possible business conditions to achieve sustainable economic growth for Scotland. Enterprise Areas are another means to help us achieve this and form a key part of our Government Economic Strategy.

“We have worked closely with our enterprise agencies to select sites which can exploit opportunities in growth sectors and in many cases these will help create jobs in areas of Scotland that are facing challenging economic conditions. They represent the strategic locations in our key sectors with clear, achievable opportunities for development in the short term.

“We are taking this innovative sectoral approach as it will make better use of resources and target investment where it will be most effective. It will also allow us to build on the momentum that Scotland has been generating in life sciences, renewables and the creative sector as well as promote partnership working.

“Incentives available will depend on the characteristics of each site and these may include reduced business rates. We have agreed a planning protocol with COSLA which will encourage key parties, including developers, local authorities, Scottish Government and Agencies to work together in a streamlined planning process.

“In addition, we will consider opportunities presented by the emerging National Broadband Strategy to help make Enterprise Areas as attractive as possible to investors whilst Scottish Development International will provide inward investment assistance.

“The aim is to have Scotland’s Enterprise Areas operational from April. Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise will work closely with the relevant local authorities, as well as with the business community, to maximise the economic value derived from each.”

Scottish Enterprise managing director of operations Jim McFarlane said: "The new Enterprise Area programme is great news for Scotland and will be key to encouraging greater business growth and investment.

“We particularly welcome the focus on manufacturing and anticipate that all the designated areas will offer significant potential to stimulate and deliver new jobs in some of Scotland's leading industry sectors such as renewable energy, life sciences and creative industries.

“Enterprise Area status will further enhance each location's offering and help give a competitive edge in today's current challenging investment environment."

Director of Regional Development at Highlands and Island Enterprise Carroll Buxton said: “HIE welcomes the introduction of Enterprise Areas which will stimulate and encourage early investment and development at key strategic sites in Scotland.

“Enterprise Areas are about making things happen faster. In the Highlands and Islands the initiative is targeting growth sectors, particularly renewable energy and life sciences, where there is considerable potential to create new jobs and economic growth across the region.

“HIE is ready to support investors to maximise the advantage of early development at the range of sites which has the potential to stimulate further significant benefits for businesses and communities across our region.”

President Global Manufacturing & Supply at GlaxoSmithKline David Pulman said: “The announcement of designated Enterprise Areas focused on life sciences demonstrates the commitment of the Scottish Government to support growth in this vibrant and important sector.

“GSK welcomes the announcement today that Irvine is among these designated areas. As a major employer in the area for almost four decades, this move supports our ongoing operations as well as helping to attract other life sciences companies to invest.”

Notes to editors


The four Enterprise Areas are as follows:

1. Life Sciences Enterprise Area

Irvine (N Ayrshire) – covers three co-located sites and a total area of 86 hectares;

i3 Irvine Innovation and Industry Park (formerly Riverside Business Park). This site is a strategic 200 acre fully serviced, single user inward investment site – the largest in the North of the UK.

Annickbank. This site has full site infrastructure in place for an office park development of 9,000 m2 Expansion land at GSK Irvine.

Forres (Moray) – This 10 hectare site offers a strong opportunity to build on the cluster of expertise in the P4 Digital Healthcare sector which has developed along the Inverness-Elgin corridor, the sector having expanded from 50 to 80 active businesses between 2009 and 2011.

Inverness Campus (Highland) – a five hectare site which is part of a larger site housing the University of the Highlands & Islands, the Centre for Health Science and the Scottish Agricultural College, the site will provide opportunities in research and development as well as in the provision of incubation units.

BioQuarter (Edinburgh) – flagship life sciences site in Scotland which offers manufacturing as well as research and development opportunities at the 20 hectare site. It is also located adjacent to Parc Craigmillar URC and will reinforce the wider regeneration efforts for that section of Edinburgh.

Biocampus (Midlothian) - a nine hectare site which is unique in that it supports possibilities for large scale biomanufacturing activity and will complement the activity undertaken at Edinburgh BioQuarter. The site also presents opportunities to diversify the local economy into high value adding sectors and away from the reliance in recent years on mining and other primary industries.

2. Low Carbon / Renewables North Enterprise Area

Hatston (Orkney) – a five hectare marine site identified in the National Renewables Infrastructure Plan (N-RIP). Construction of six workshop units is underway and there are potential agglomeration benefits when considered together with Lyness and Scrabster.

Arnish (Western Isles) – sited in Lewis this is the only industrial site of scale (50 hectares) in the Outer Hebrides. It offers short-term opportunities in off-shore wind generation and medium to long term opportunities in wave generation and was identified in N-NIP as an integrated manufacturing site.

Nigg (Highland) – this site, identified as a strategic location for integrated manufacturing in N-RIP, has recently been purchased by Global Energy Group who intend to develop the site as a service hub for the energy industry. The Enterprise Area site is 50 hectares.

Scrabster (Highland) – identified as a priority site in the Northern Marine cluster by the N-RIP this 5 hectare site is ideally situated on the Pentland Firth to take advantage of wave and tidal opportunities. There are potential agglomeration benefits when considered in combination with Hatston and Lyness. The site aims to support marine energy projects planned for the South of Orkney and in the Pentland Firth.

Lyness (Orkney) – a key N-RIP marine site which is currently being developed to support the assembly, storage and servicing on marine energy devices, this five hectare site offers agglomeration benefits when considered along with Hatston and Scrabster. The site is a deep harbour facility located within Scapa Flow, which is a perfect location for the wet storage of marine devices and can be used to assemble, test, fix and repair marine energy devices.

3. Low Carbon / Renewables East Enterprise Area

Dundee Port (Dundee) – a key renewables site identified within N-RIP there is currently strong demand from manufacturing companies in the site.

Port of Leith (Edinburgh) – providing uninterrupted access to the Forth estuary and North Sea, this is a key N-RIP site which offers significant opportunities to develop an offshore wind sector supply chain, especially as the 60 hectare site is the largest potential development area across all Scottish east coast ports.

4. General Manufacturing and Growth Sectors Enterprise Area

Creative Clyde (Glasgow) – a 14 hectare site based at Pacific Quay offering opportunities for creative industries. This will build on the success of the Digital Media Quarter which in the last 10 years has attracted Headquarter functions for Scottish Television and BBC Scotland among others to Pacific Quay.

Prestwick International (S Ayrshire) – the vast majority of the Scottish aerospace industry, including the high value adding space manufacturing sector, is based in the west of Scotland with Prestwick accommodating 12 companies in the sector.

Summary information on the range of sites assessed in detail for inclusion within Scotland’s Enterprise Areas will be published shortly.


Karen MacKinnon : 0131 244 2175 / 07771 555 604

Contact Information

Julia McLaren

Engagement Partner

Scottish Enterprise

0300 013 3223

07801 794046