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Fife strategy to help meet challenges of Brexit

An image of the proposed Queensway Park Data Centres.
An image of the proposed Queensway Park Data Centres.

Fife Brexit Business Advisory Group has held its first meeting to shape the region’s response to the opportunities and challenges arising from the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

With the triggering of Article 50 just two months away, the clock for businesses is ticking.

The group’s discussions covered attracting students and research; funding for employability and business support, and attracting and retaining talent and investment.

The group reinforced the need for the newly developed Fife Economic Strategy 2017-2027 to prioritise making Fife the best place to do business during, and after, the Brexit process.

Councillor David Ross, chair of the group, said: “We agreed priority areas to consider as the UK and Scottish Government’s approach negotiations with the EU.

“In pulling this advisory group together, Fife Council wanted to ensure we are in a position to articulate and contribute a strong Fife voice to this ongoing debate.

“We have agreed to work together, across a range of sectors, to understand the impacts on the labour market, promote investment and understand the risks, and opportunities, that the Brexit decision will mean for Fife”.

Alan Mitchell, chief executive of Fife Chamber of Commerce, added: “We will develop a response which assists the needs of Fife’s diverse businesses.

“There are opportunities, as well as impacts, and by working together, we will be well prepared to face these with a collective voice.”

A investment project set to play a major role in Fife’s post-Brexit economic future has significant European involvement.

Scotland’s largest data centre campus being built on the former Tullis Russell paper mill at Glenrothes will be operated by Luxembourg-based Etix Everywhere.

The European company signed a memorandum of understanding with developers County Properties and AOC Group to run the £260 million facility.

Queensway Park Data Centres, to be powered by renewable sources, will have build cost of £260 million.

Around 300 jobs will be created during the construction, another 100 on completion and a further 500 support services posts could be supported.

Data centres store information from mobile devices material to companies’ records, and they represent one of the biggest growth sectors in the world.

Queensway Park, which is going through pre-planning public consultation, will be pursuing business in a global market.

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