THE company behind controversial plans for a huge new subsea cable manufacturing plant at Hunterston insist that they WILL bring 900 jobs to the area.

The reassurance came after Fairlie Community Council openly questioned the job claims made by XLCC during last week's crunch meeting on the massive development, which will see a 185 metre tower being built on the waterfront - one of the biggest structures in the skyline in Scotland.
North Ayrshire Council's planning committee voted 5-3 in favour of the development, despite local councillors Ian Murdoch and Alan Hill seeking a delay.
Independent councillor Mr Murdoch wanted to defer the decision until the planning committee was able to visit the site and further research was undertaken, while the SNP's Mr Hill questioned the lack of detail, saying it was like 'asking to build a house but only showing plans for a garage'.
However, the approval has been welcomed by SNP councillor Tony Gurney.
The cabinet member for economy and climate change said: “Hunterston is a key strategic site and one which has enormous potential. 
"We believe this can just be the start for Hunterston and we can continue providing high-value jobs and new innovation capacity to realise its national potential as a contributor to net zero.” 
The project director for XLCC, Alan Mathers, says they have received their first order for four 3,800km-long cables to connect solar and wind renewable power generation in the Sahara to the UK.
Mr Mathers added: "We look forward to delivering a factory of great local and international importance. 
"The UK will be positioned as a world leader in the green economy, with the site at Hunterston playing a key role in connecting cheap, green energy from renewables projects around the world."
The company says it will work with Ayrshire College to increase the number of courses available to prospective students, so it is able to recruit locally.
At the planning committee meeting, Fairlie Community Council chairman Rita Holmes attacked the application.
She said: "We believe this humongous development which will operate 24/7 poses a potential serious threat to our health and wellbeing - and will destroy the amenity of our village. 
"We don't believe XLCC's assertion that noise will not be a problem, or their claim that their ships using the jetty to load the cable will be noise-free.
"There is nothing green about this development - it will scar the landscape and add an extra 15 per cent to North Ayrshire's carbon dioxide emissions, use 90,000 tones of steel, and use a huge amount of electricity, [cause] noise pollution, generate lead waste and produce methane and other toxic gases which will need removal.
"The only greater good is to maximise the profits of XLCC - and a billionaire tax exile who unfortunately for us owns the Peel Ports authority and most of the Hunterston land."
The XLCC representative said that while there would be temporary noise disturbance during construction however the noise will be negligible to minor once the site is operational.
They added: "There will not be any significant emissions. 
"While it is accepted that the height and visual impact of the tower will be prominent in some views, NatureScot have welcomed the mitigation proposed including using various colours and textures.
"Scottish Environment Protection Agency have raised no objections, with proposed pollution control measures to counter the risk to the water environment considered by SEPA to be acceptable."
Conservative councillor Todd Ferguson hailed the development as a big boost to the economy.
He said: "This is a wonderful opportunity for local jobs, including apprenticeships, and investment that will benefit local businesses and supply chains across the North Coast.
"There are a number of stringent environmental conditions that have been attached to the application which are welcomed.
"The objections of local residents have been heard by XLCC and it is now up to them to ensure that they are not only good neighbours but keep the promises they’ve made on mitigation of noise disruption on site and delivery of jobs promised."
Green West of Scotland MSP Ross Greer said: “I made a number of suggestions to the council for appropriate conditions, such as a long-term commitment from the developer to clean up the site when they eventually cease operations. XLCC’s proposal is by far the most appropriate to have been put forward for the port in years.
"This project could be hugely beneficial to the local economy, employing hundreds of people in an industry which will be key to tackling the climate emergency."