A six-figure boost for Fife Energy Park could lead to job opportunities for generations of young people, it has been claimed.
Levenmouth councillors said the £645,000 award from the Scottish Government’s Decommissioning Challenge Fund was exactly the shot in the arm needed by an area plagued by high unemployment and lack of opportunity for many years.
SNP councillor Ken Caldwell and Labour’s Colin Davidson said a lot of work had been done behind the scenes to secure the investment.
The money will be used to create a facility where oilfield infrastructure, including rigs, can be dismantled.
It will mean upgrades to the Methil quayside, which will be equipped with a strengthened concrete laydown and dismantling area.
Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said decommissioning offered significant economic opportunities that would help Scottish industry capture global markets.
Mr Caldwell, convener of Levenmouth area committee, hailed the award as “a fantastic boost” for the Levenmouth economy.
“This will provide many job opportunities and should smooth out troughs from any other work being carried out at other sites in the Energy Park,” he said.
“We will continue to work hard to make sure we maximise as many local opportunities for local businesses and employment as possible.”
Mr Davidson, committee vice convener, said it was a fantastic opportunity to look at securing additional good-quality employment for the area.
“We’re hoping to embrace the chance for young people to have careers in that industry,” he said.
“We’re hoping companies will work with us and the school to create a pathway into the industry so people can see it as a possible lifelong occupation.
“It could also offer an opportunity for the docks themselves.”
Mr Davidson is chairing a working group looking to re-establish railway lines into dock areas, including in Methil, and said the more work taking place, the better.
“If we can decommission infrastructure here then take the materials away by ship or rail it would be good,” he said.
“Securing work for Bifab should also continue to be a priority for us so we have a mixed bag – we could build the infrastructure and also decommission it down there.
“It could provide careers for generations if we get it right.”