Island businesses were praised by Scottish Parliament politicians during a visit to a number of enterprising businesses based in Millport.

The Scottish Parliament’s Local Government, Housing, and Planning Committee met with several local businesses and organisations, all of which contribute to the island’s community wealth-building initiatives.  

The visit allowed committee members to learn about key examples of "Community wealth building" in North Ayrshire.

Community wealth building is focused on growing the influence communities have on the economy and ensuring they receive more of the benefits from the wealth they help to generate. 

The committee met with the leader of North Ayrshire Council, Councillor Marie Burns, depute leader Councillor Shaun Macaulay, as well as members of the council’s executive leadership team and officials. 

Following the Visit to Cumbrae, Ariane Burgess MSP, the convener of the Scottish Parliament’s committee, said: "We've come here because North Ayrshire Council thought this would be the best example for us to understand community wealth building.

“And that certainly has been the case.

“Community wealth building really is about ensuring that the wealth that is created locally stays locally.

“One of our visits was to the town hall, which was basically owned by the council at some point, and the council couldn't do anything with it. And the community loved it so much, they thought, we want to take it over.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

“And what we saw was the town hall being retrofitted, and incredible work in process that, next year, will be open to the public for a range of incredible things.

“Our second visit was to the Isle of Cumbrae Distillers, and that was an amazing project that's been set up by women. And their impulse was really actually about creating something that would employ people and create economic regeneration for the community.

“It is really a wonderful space to go into. And they're not just stopping at making the gin, they're also looking at how they can include other people into the mix and use their gin as the attraction to the island.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

“Our last visit of the day was Jack's Alt Stays, which is five amazing holiday accommodation pods. But they're beyond pods, they're kind of luxury pods. Very impressive and what they're doing is that they're attracting people to the island, ever since they've been open.

“They offer other things like a breakfast pack for people and the breakfast packs are prepared by other businesses on the island. So that's bringing in wealth to other business in the economy.

"They make recommendations to the people that are staying to go to this pub or this restaurant or to take this visit or go in and take a walk in the woods.

“They've really had a beautiful impact economically in the community, because they're bringing lots of other businesses along with their success.”