Public money is the glue that holds regeneration partnerships together offering opportunities for businesses and communities alike.
Like the best laid plans they often come unstuck, particularly when Government focus shifts to the Western Isles or to Dundee, public money inevitably follows. They become winners in the regeneration game and Inverclyde are the losers
While anger and disappointment rightly followed the appalling decision by the SNP Government to cut our regeneration budget by 70%, it is important, for our own sake, that we do not become frozen in our sense of loss. Indeed we must ensure that we work harder in order to make a strong case for Inverclyde.
That’s why John Swinney’s visit was significant. While the Cabinet Secretary did not bring his wallet with him, it was important to remind him that we are a community that is more vulnerable to the economic downturn that is currently gripping the country. While significant investment has brought change for the better, much more needs to be done.
It was pleasing that the Cabinet Secretary recognised the real potential for renewables in the area, the growth in tourism and leisure, and of course the opportunities in the creative industries brought about by our success in attracting Waterloo Road to the area. All of this potential can benefit not only Inverclyde but the whole of the Scottish economy.
And of course it is always useful to remind ourselves that what really binds us together is our joint ambition of a successful future for Inverclyde.