The UK Ambassador to Finland discussed business opportunities and the potential for further inward investment with council leader Willie Gibson during a visit to North Ayrshire on Monday.
Finland is one of Europe’s strongest economies and already has an important presence in North Ayrshire at the UPM Caledonian Paper Mill.
Her Britannic Majesty’s Ambassador to Finland, Matthew Lodge, took the opportunity to meet councillors and officials during a visit to Irvine’s paper mill.
The Ambassador discussed the benefits of investment in North Ayrshire and heard about the council’s efforts to support local and incoming businesses through a wide range of incentives, including tax breaks, streamlined planning and capital allowances available in Enterprise Areas.
Mr Lodge also took the opportunity to taste produce from across the region, including Arran Cheese and North Ayrshire haggis.
Council Leader, Councillor Willie Gibson, said: “I am delighted that the Ambassador was able to visit Cunninghame House while in North Ayrshire.
“We are keen to develop links with business and to attract inward investment to North Ayrshire.
“The paper mill, for example, provides many high-skilled jobs and is a major contributor to the wider North Ayrshire economy.”
Earlier this year UPM Caledonia Paper Mill employed three young people from North Ayrshire through the Youth Employment Support programme (YES), an innovative new scheme that combines invaluable pre-employment training with a subsidised job opportunity.
The pilot scheme began at the end of 2011 and was the first of its kind in Scotland. The programme is fully funded by North Ayrshire Council and is one of a range of support packages in place for employers.