Ambitious plans to create the world’s biggest whale sculpture in Fife could act as a catalyst for regeneration, it has been claimed.
The proposed 100-foot sculpture off the Leven coast has been suggested as a tourist magnet for Fife’s coast.
It is hoped the £55 million project, combined with approved plans for a rail link within five years, will boost the area’s fortunes by providing a unique attraction, along with a means to travel to it.
The proposal, the brainchild of Conservative councillor Graham Ritchie, includes a 1,000ft pleasure pier, the only one of its type on the east of Scotland.
The Levenmouth Whale Project is now a registered company, meaning it can apply for grant funding. Public funding is not expected as part of the plan.
Levenmouth Whale Project Chairman Eugene Clarke said the organisation’s first priority was to develop a feasibility study, which would include underwater surveys.
“As part of that, we need to identify funding because these things cost quite a lot,” he said.
“We’ve formed an action committee and we hope people will come along and get involved.”
Mr Clarke hailed the project as “a fantastic opportunity”.
“In four or five years’ time we’ll have a railway line and Sepa’s £50m project at the River Leven will be complete so it will be a very different community.
“The whales will be a bit like the Kelpies and will attract people in.”
Murdo Fraser, Tory MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said: “I’m all for this project. It’s a very exciting, community-driven plan.
“It could pave the way for a big increase in tourism, especially when you consider the impact the likes of the Kelpies have had on the Falkirk area.
“It’s well-known that big attractions like this act as a catalyst for urban regeneration.”
The project group will hold its first meeting at Thomson House, Harbour View, Methil, on February 12 from 6.30pm to 8pm.