A TOTAL of £3m million will be ploughed into a new project aimed at bringing more highly paid jobs to Largs.

The cash from the Community Wealth Building Fund will be available to help roll the new initiative out across the area as part of the Ayrshire Growth Deal.

The plan is built around a new economic model popular in the USA with an emphasis on creating good, well paid positions.

The scheme will involve the council, along with public sector partners, and will provide a range of support to help local businesses during the procurement process to help them win lucrative public sector contracts.

The council is currently looking at ways this can be developed to enable more local companies to bid for work.

Evidence shows that money spent locally through procurement recirculates around the local economy at three times the rate if spent outwith the local area.

The plan was revealed as part of a report prepared for North Ayrshire Council, seen by the News.

Council Leader Joe Cullinane is excited about moving forward with the ambitious proposals.

He said: “The public sector in North Ayrshire spends hundreds of millions of pounds each year and our new Community Wealth Building approach to economic development will seek to use that ‘community wealth’ to create good, well-paid jobs for local people.

“It doesn’t mean the end of inward investment but it does signal that we are no longer willing to simply compete with other areas for a market-driven local economy that delivers low paid jobs for North Ayrshire whilst shareholders extract value from our economy.

"Instead we want to create a fairer, more inclusive and democratic economy for the people of North Ayrshire from the ground up.

“Community Wealth Building will reconnect our local economy with economic and social justice at a time when over half of those living in poverty are in-work but are low paid or underemployed, zero hours contracts.

“We are excited about sharing the ideas with the public."

Meetings will be held next month to progress the plan.