The Falkirk Council area is ready for investment – that was the clear message over 250 people took away from the Falkirk & Grangemouth Investment Zone Conference.

Held in the MacDonald Inchyra Grange Hotel last month, the event turned the spotlight on over £2bn that will be poured into the local area by the private sector including:

  • Over £900m by INEOS in its Grangemouth site
  • £150m by CalaChem in its energy from waste plant
  • £100m for Grangemouth flood defences 
  • Over £80m in a new STEM focused campus at Forth Valley College

On the day, attendees from across the public, private and third sector also heard about the economic and employment opportunities the Growth Deal could bring.

Pitching for growth

Falkirk Council is seeking £235m from the Government's Growth Deal initiative to enhance the economic infrastructure and innovation capability of the area and move towards a Net Zero carbon future.

The deal, which could create up to 6000 new jobs and generate £3bn for the Scottish economy, follows three main themes:

  • Driving Innovative Industry: a bid for £79m aims to establish the area as a Centre of Excellence and Innovation and help move the area towards a low carbon economy.
  • Enhancing National Infrastructure: a bid for £72m that would see large scale improvements to the area’s road, rail, sea and pipeline infrastructure.
  • Creating Greater Places: a bid for £80m to improve sustainable travel, tourism and energy supply.

Cecil Meiklejohn, Leader of Falkirk Council, said:

"The Investment Zone would bring many positive changes to the area and boost Falkirk’s competitiveness, nationally and internationally, and ensure the benefits of inclusive growth are shared among all. It would allow us to invest in innovative technology that will transform industry in Grangemouth, respond to climate change and work toward a greener, more sustainable future and improve productivity through technology and skills. By investing in places that people want to live, visit, learn and work will also provide opportunities to access high-value jobs."

Interest on investment

The event, opened by Kenneth Lawrie, Chief Executive, Falkirk Council, saw a range of speakers highlighted why they wanted to see continued investment in the local area.

Speakers included:

  • Michael Matheson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity
  • Colin Robertson CBE, Chief Executive of Alexander Dennis
  • Stuart Wallace, Chief Operating Officer for Forth Ports
  • Catherine Topley, Chief Executive of Scottish Canals
  • Leonard Russell, Managing Director of Ian McLeod Distillers
  • Nick Skelton, Director of Stantec
  • David Reid, former Vice President of Jacobs, global engineering business