HUNTERSTON has missed out on a 1,000 jobs bonanza after being left off a shortlist of possible sites for new superfast 235mph trains.

Longannet in Fife and Chesterfield remain in the running for a site to manufacture the trains which will serve the new High Speed (HS2) rail routes being developed by the UK Government.

North Ayrshire Council leader Joe Cullinane says he is 'deeply, deeply disappointed' by the snub.

He said: "It would have been a major, game-changing investment.

“We believe that Hunterston, with its location and infrastructure, would have been an outstanding choice for the company – it is a site ripe for development.

“While it’s a bitter blow for us, we refuse to give up in the fight to bring new jobs and investment to an area which suffers from some of the highest levels of deprivation and poverty in Scotland.

“We know that Hunterston offers great potential and, as we make progress in attracting hundreds of millions of pounds to the area through the Ayrshire Growth Deal, it will remain a key focus for us in the months and years ahead.

“We are now looking towards government at a national level to make sure that they provide the support we so desperately need – we stand ready with our public and private partners to finalise that investment and make sure North Ayrshire gets the support it deserves."

Kenneth Gibson, the MSP for Cunninghame North says he is surprised that Hunterston failed to make the shortlist.

He told the News: “With its 5.7 kilometres of track onsite, its grid connections and deep water port, Hunterston provided a unique location and I know that North Ayrshire Council, Scottish Enterprise and Peel Ports all worked hard on this.

"I have pressed for Hunterston to be included as a key hub in the Ayrshire Growth Deal and I am optimistic that North Ayrshire Council will make a positive announcement in that regard over the next few days.

"I remain determined to see high quality, skilled jobs brought to Hunterston."

West of Scotland regional list MSP Jamie Greene added: “I believe that North Ayrshire would have been, and still is, an excellent location to manufacture next generation high-speed trains.

“It is important that we all redouble our efforts to promote North Ayrshire as a potential hub for future investors."