This image's subject is one of relevance to Irvine today, how to you create jobs? Well, back in 1971, the planners at Perceton House thought that they had found the answer- the advanced factory unit (see photo). You could describe this policy of building industrial accommodation speculatively as the 'Field of Dreams' approach to economic development (remember the scene in the movie when Kevin Costner hears a voice in a cornfield telling him 'if you build it, he will come'). The problem is with this idea, with the exception of small workshop space, is that businesses have radically different space, layout and fitting out requirements (electrical, plumbing, heating and ventilation) - you cannot predict what these will be. A cluster of 'advanced factories' which the Development Corporation constructed at South Newmoor showed how flawed was this approach. These units were built with loading bays which had insufficient height clearance to allow delivery lorries to access them!
Experience has shown that the best ways to attract jobs to an area are: providing a good workforce, one which is educated (Irvine has amongst the worst-performing schools in Scotland, I won't say which ones and not all schools in the town are failing); having a place with good amenities, so removing sporting facilities from the town with the advent of Magnum 2 (which should really be renamed 'Magnum Too Little') is not a bright idea; having a low crime rate, again we are at the bottom of the league on that one; and enjoying an attractive, well-maintained environment -oops, North Ayrshire Council hadn't thought of that one!