The Economic Growth Service is part of the Economy and Communities Directorate. One of the strategic priorities the service leads on is to 'Grow our economy, increase employment and regenerate our towns'. The Economic Growth Service consists of the following teams:
- Business Development and Support
- Employability and Skills
- Protective Services
The percentage of unemployed people assisted into work from council operated/funded employability programmes decreased from 16.3% to 8.2% between 2014/15 and 2015/16. This changed North Ayrshire Council's ranking from 8th to 20th place among Scottish Local Authorities. In 2015/16 we supported 428 North Ayrshire residents into work.
The % of procurement spent on local Small/Medium Enterprises (SMEs) focuses on the proportion of this spend which is targeted at SMEs. In 2015/16 North Ayrshire spent 13.4% with local SME’s. The Scotland figure was 19.7% and the Council ranked 28th out of the 32 Scottish Councils.
The number of Business Gateway start ups per 10,000 population decreased from 21.0 in 2014/15 to 15.4 in 2015/16. The rank for 2015/16 was 21 compared to 14 in 2014/15.
The cost per planning application decreased from £4494.7 in 2014/15 to £4270.9 in 2015/16. This improved the Council’s ranking from 17th to 14th.
The average time (weeks) per commercial planning application decreased to 5.3 weeks in 2015/16. The Council was ranked in first position for this indicator.
Compare our performance, against other councils, on the My Local Council website.
Steps to improvement
We have actively engaged with local businesses to support the creation of new jobs.
Our employability programmes continue to have a substantial impact in reducing North Ayrshire's unemployment rate. This has been enhanced through the creation of 2 further Employability Hubs in Kilbirnie and Ardrossan following the success of the hub in Stevenston Library to help deliver targeted employability skills support.
We have invested significantly in staffing in order to better meet the needs of the business community. Team North Ayrshire, a North Ayrshire Council initiative to support local businesses with high growth potential, continues to go from strength to strength. They have identified and are working with 223 local companies. Five Business Growth Managers work with these companies to assist in the development of bespoke growth plans. It is anticipated their implementation will lead to the creation of more than 1000 local jobs by April 2019.
How to get involved
Find out more about Employability Hubs.
Find out more about Team North Ayrshire.
The introduction of Locality Partnerships is empowering local communities to improve services and develop opportunities. The approach is regarded as best practice and is based on engagement and consultation with communities as outlined in the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015. The Community Planning Partnership website contains details on the localities in North Ayrshire and information on how to become involved in your Locality Partnership or Community Council.