The first sites in a potentially revolutionary near-£50 million, 1,000 job investment in Fife have been revealed.
Areas included in the first tranche will stretch across central and west Fife.
Thursday’s meeting of Fife’s policy and coordination committee will debate the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal and Tay Cities Deal and is expected to see the business case for the ambitious project rubber-stamped by councillors.
Fife Council is delivering a £48.4m, 10-year industrial innovations investment programme, to support business growth, as part of the Edinburgh deal.
The programme is expected to create more than 1,000 new permanent jobs, with almost 600 short-term construction jobs, and aims to attract at least £30m of further investment by the private sector.
The programme will be taken forward in phases.
The first sites to be developed are Glenrothes’ Queensway industrial estate, the Fife Interchange at Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy’s Dunnikier Business Park, The Avenue in Lochgelly and Hillend and Donibristle industrial estate in Dalgety Bay.
The plan is to deliver small, flexible business units with potential to amalgamate into larger units if needed which would be aimed at small to medium sized businesses, responding to the requirements of businesses within light manufacturing, food and drinks manufacturing, engineering, construction and electronics sectors as well as a range of service-based companies.
The units will be targeted at local businesses across these sectors who have outgrown their existing accommodation or seeking to re-structure their operations and unable to do so.
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Further phases include Levenmouth Business Park, Buckhaven, Kirkcaldy’s John Smith Business Park, Glenrothes’ Westwood industrial estate and Rosyth, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath town centres.
Most of the cash will be spent on new build units, but money will also be invested in site servicing, broadband infrastructure and digital technologies.
The Scottish Government is providing £35m while the local authority will invest £9.2m.
The remainder will come from the sale of serviced employment land.
Once approved, the first phase will start in 2019/20.
Council co-leader, Labour councillor David Ross, said: “The programme is part of the council’s commitment to build modern business premises to facilitate investment by the private sector to ensure that Fife’s economy is fit for the future.”
His SNP co-leader David Alexander added: “This initiative will increase the supply of serviced employment land and new industrial, office and business space in Fife.”
Members will also discuss the Tay Cities Deal heads of terms agreement.
Under the deal, £25m will be invested in St Andrews University’s Eden Campus to create around 500 new jobs.
In partnership with the university, investment will see this former paper mill at its Guardbridge site redeveloped into a global research and innovation hub.
The Eden Enterprise will establish a commercially viable business incubator that caters for spin-out and start-up companies from the region’s universities.
Mr Ross said the Eden Enterprise will enhance a network of enterprise centres the council is delivering through Fife.
Fife Council depute SNP leader Karen Marjoram added: “This deal offers a long-term programme of sustained capital investment for Fife to tackle issues that constrain growth, create new jobs, as well as open up opportunities to become more competitive.”