The First Minister has refused to reverse a decision to deny £9 million for a masterplan to help Fife recover from the “devastating” closure of Longannet.
Nicola Sturgeon was invited at First Minister’s Questions to reconsider her government’s position on the plan, which Fife’s Labour council leader said is “essential for the future economic vitality of the area”.
But the SNP leader slapped down the request – saying they were already doing “everything possible” to help workers and the local economy.
Longannet power station is to close in two weeks at a loss of 236 jobs locally and more than 1,000 in the supply chain.
Cara Hilton, the Labour MSP for Dunfermline, said: “The plan is vital to the economic regeneration of the area, enabling recovery from what is going to be a devastating blow for Kincardine and surrounding communities.
“I was disappointed to hear this week from Fife Council leader David Ross that the plan is not going to be funded by the Scottish Government.
“Will the FM please reconsider the position before Longannet closes on March 31 to ensure the communities that I represent have got a fighting chance of recovering?”
Ms Sturgeon said they are working with the jobs taskforce and other parties to support workers and the local economy.
“We continue to engage with the council about proposals to support economic regeneration and recovery in the area,” she said.
“Of course we have also been working through the taskforce and our PACE organisation to help individuals into alternative employment and I understand that many of the individuals employed at Longannet have been able to move into alternative employment.”
The document was drawn up by four councils including Fife and Falkirk, along with Scottish Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland/PACE.
Longannet, which is Scotland’s last coal-fired power station, is being closed because of the high costs of connecting to the grid, its owners Scottish Power said.
Also at FMQs, opposition leaders clashed with Ms Sturgeon over income tax plans.
Ms Sturgeon made clear she would not follow George Osborne’s tax cut for the top 10% of earners when Holyrood gets control over rates and bands in April next year.
She added her party will reveal how it would use its income tax powers in full early next week.