Giving the area a lift

October 31st, 2011

The class of 2012 at Greenock Academy are going to be pretty familiar to anyone who tunes into BBC One on a Wednesday night.

The news that the people behind the hit TV show Waterloo Road - voted the UK most popular programme - are going to relocate to the old school is a tremendous boost to the area.

Aswell as creating jobs, I hope there will be opportunities to link up with James Watt College, through their drama, make-up artistry and sound and production courses.

It could also highlight this area’s commitment to the arts, illustrated by the new art’s guild theatre opening on the waterfront next year.

If nothing else, it is a lift for the area to know that we can attract a project as exciting as this.

I was particularly pleased to hear Eileen Gallagher, who is head of Shed Productions, talk about the stunning scenery in and around Greenock, something often forgotten when people talk about Inverclyde.

This just goes to prove what we can achieve if we are positive and ambitious.

Instead of letting people talk us down, we need to go out and sell Inverclyde to the world.

That’s was my ambition when I contacted Waterloo Road, inviting Shed Productions to the area and putting them in touch with Riverside Inverclyde and Inverclyde Council, working together to make it happen.

I don’t believe we can afford to wait for others to create jobs, we need to do it ourselves.

We need to bring this same positive approach to bring renewables manufacturing jobs to Inchgreen dock or build on the e-commerce base we have at RBS and T-Mobile.

If we want to attract jobs or projects like Waterloo Road to Inverclyde, we need to work across agencies and make it happen.

I certainly believe Inverclyde is an attractive place to live and work, and now we have a prime time TV programme to showcase just what we have to offer.