Issued by the Scottish Government.
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.
The Renewable Energy Enterprise East Area will comprise of 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 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 Scotland 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."
Carroll Buxton, HIE's Director of Regional Development, 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."
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."
David Pulman, President Global Manufacturing and Supply at GlaxoSmithKline 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."
The four Enterprise Areas are as follows
1. Life Sciences Enterprise Area
2. Low Carbon / Renewables North Enterprise Area
3. Low Carbon / Renewables East Enterprise Area
4. General Manufacturing and Growth Sectors Enterprise Area
Summary information on the range of sites assessed in detail for inclusion within Scotland's Enterprise Areas will be published shortly.
For further information, contact Karen MacKinnon at the Scottish Government on 0131 244 2175 or mobile 07771 555 604