ABP's Scottish ports: A £40m success story

August 22, 2014

The true scale of the economic contribution of Associated British Ports’ Scottish ports has been revealed in a new report by independent consultants Arup.

Together the two ports - Ayr and Troon - contribute £40 million to the Scottish economy annually and support 500 UK jobs. 

The new research shows that, of those totals, ABP's Scottish ports contribute £28 million directly into the regional economy and support 417 jobs in the area.

Together, ABP's Scottish ports form a diverse business handling 650,000 tonnes of cargo every year.

ABP Ayr supports Scottish Agriculture and the Scottish Whisky industry with imports of almost 200,000 tonnes of agribulks annually and the port continues to be an essential component of the Scottish open cast mining industry, handling large volumes of coal each year. The Port of Ayr is also a primary import location for wind turbines destined for the growing cluster of renewable energy projects underway in South West Scotland.  

At ABP Troon the port handles up to 100,000 tonnes of Scottish grown timber per year, with shipments arriving from Argyll into the port onboard ABP’s bespoke TimberLink service, with logs destined for sawmilling and processing at manufacturing facilities throughout Ayrshire.

The TimberLink shipping service removes almost one million lorry miles annually from Scotland’s roads, resulting in huge carbon savings, reduced road traffic congestion and direct benefits to rural communities in both Ayrshire and Argyll.

Troon also provides Scotland with an important ferry link to Northern Ireland via the P&O Express high speed service to Larne. In 2013, this link carried over 180,000 passengers and almost 52,000 cars across the Irish Sea, boosting tourism locally and developing economic ties between both countries.

Arup identifies that ongoing investment in Ayr and Troon will see the contribution to the regional economy increase to £46m annually.

Andrew Harston, ABP Director Short Sea Ports, said: "Our ports in Scotland are a cornerstone of the regional economy, an important gateway for manufacturers and a vital link to important overseas markets. Port Manager Stuart Cresswell and the ABP team at Ayr and Troon do a great job serving the needs of Scottish importers and exporters.

“I'm proud to report both these impressive new figures and our determination to build on this success with a programme of investment that we genuinely believe will continue to deliver growth for the regional economy."

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To download a pdf of the press release, click here