East Lothian bids to create 7,500 jobs

EAST Lothian hopes to create an extra 7,500 jobs and 350 businesses as part of a major economic blueprint for the next decade.

A strategy and action plan produced by the Training and Research Unit at the University of Glasgow was approved at a meeting of East Lothian Council cabinet.

Tom Shearer, head of policy and partnership, said the “number one priority” was the local economy. Research has shown the county’s employment rate fell from 77 per cent in 2006 to 73 per cent last year.

Mr Shearer explained: “The council, together with its community planning partners, needs to respond to the challenging economic climate that exists in East Lothian and the impact this is having on job opportunities.”

The council’s economic development unit had secured some notable achievements in recent times, but more needed to be done to encourage entrepreneurs to consider East Lothian as a location to set up a business.

“We need to be bold, we need to ambitious, we need to do what be can to ignite further business development in our county,” added Mr Shearer.

Councillor John McMillan, the council’s economic development spokesman said: “The proof of the pudding will be in the eating.”