Cruise ships could dock at Burntisland if feasibility study proves positive

Cruise ship passengers could come ashore at Burntisland
Cruise ship passengers could come ashore at Burntisland

Burntisland could become the latest town to benefit from the lucrative cruise ship market if investigations prove positive.

Fife Council has agreed to contribute £25,000 towards a feasibility study looking at the potential for the town’s port to host large liners and the hundreds of passengers who would be looking to disembark there.

Port owners Forth Ports will also contribute to the study, which will establish whether there is a market for the move and consider the infrastructure needed to make it work.

This would include installing a deep water jetty to allow tenders to bring passengers ashore.

Details of the project are still vague as it is at a commercially sensitive stage but officers hope it will ultimately allow mid Fife to cash in on the increasing number of cruise liners arriving in the Firth of Forth.

Dunfermline and St Andrews are already reaping the benefits of a boost in visitor numbers thanks to an influx of tourists disembarking from ships at Rosyth.

David Grove, Fife Council’s lead officer for town centre development, said the study had “exciting potential” for central Fife.

“Once the engineering feasibility has been established we’ll be able to launch into what it’s all about.

“It’s an option to try to get people into the Kirkcaldy area.

“There are coach loads who go up to St Andrews just now rather than stopping in mid Fife.”

Labour councillor Ian Cameron said the number of cruise ships in the Forth had more than doubled in recent years and added: “It’s very exciting what could happen here.”

Burntisland councillor Gordon Langlands welcomed efforts to boost tourism in the town.

“Last week was the first we had heard any sort of detail,” he said.

“There are two possibilities, one is tenders would come in and the other is they might be able to build a wharf for cruise ships to come to.”

The Labour councillor added: “We would need to think about accessibility and parking.

“It won’t happen overnight. It’s a year or two away if it falls into place.”

Burntisland is one of the Forth’s oldest ports and in recent years has experienced a revival from coastal shipping.

Since the closure of BiFab earlier this year, Briggs Marine has been its only tenant.