6th Fife Taskforce announces funding for four local projects.
The sixth meeting of the Fife Taskforce has announced more than £2 million in funding for projects to support businesses and help regenerate communities in the local area.
The sixth meeting of the Fife Taskforce was held in Glenrothes today.
Four local projects will receive a total of £2,070,000 from the £6 million set aside to support the Fife Taskforce's Action Plan. Overall, £3.3 million of this total has now been allocated.
The projects are:
• Queensway Green Technology Park. Support for plans for the regeneration of Queensway Industrial Estate to develop a modern business and technology park which can utilise the proximity to RWE's Biomass Power Generation facility - £1,170,000
• Glenrothes Paper Limited. Assistance for an employee-led bid to buy part of Tullis Russell, safeguarding 10 skilled manufacturing and production jobs in central Fife - £150,000
• Glenrothes Enterprise Hub. Creating a dedicated "one-stop shop" approach to develop an entrepreneurial culture and improve overall performance of new enterprises in the local economy - £500,000
• Community Regeneration in Central Fife. Projects developed with Fife Council to provide support for the communities most affected by the closure of Tullis Russell. This includes town centre improvements, support for community groups, support for the Tullis Russell Mills Band and a retail showcase and education centre - £250,000
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:
"The focus of the Taskforce is on action that continues to assist people, businesses and communities affected by job losses in central Fife. Supported by £6 million from the Scottish Government these initiatives will help deliver economic growth in the Glenrothes area and Central Fife. These announcements show that we are getting the most appropriate help and support in place as quickly as possible.
"We would like to recognise the continued efforts, not only of the public sector agencies involved, but also of the private sector that has also done all it can to help offer jobs and opportunities to those made redundant.
"There is still work to be done and opportunity to be created. The Taskforce has a specific vision and an immediate plan of action to support workers and use the £6 million we have provided to support the local community and the wider Fife economy."
Fife Council Leader Cllr David Ross, said:
"I am pleased with what has been achieved to date through the Task Force, but the job is by no means finished. There are still significant numbers of workers directly affected by the Tullis Russell and other closures who require our continued support, and that will be forthcoming.
"We also have much to do to support the creation of alternative employment opportunities in the Glenrothes and wider Fife area to replace the jobs lost at Tullis Russell and elsewhere.
"We are making progress on this and I would like to thank all those from public, private and voluntary sectors who are making valuable contributions to this work."
The Scottish Government and Fife Council has established a Fife Taskforce, involving key partners, to support economic growth and employment creation, with particular focus on Glenrothes and Central Fife, to help mitigate the effects of potential job losses and put in place appropriate support for a sustainable future for the area.
The projects announced today focus on key strands of the Action Plan, namely Supporting Business Growth, Community Regeneration and Business Infrastructure and Investment. The Taskforce previously agreed to allocate the £6 million fund as follows:
• Support for the workforce – £1.5 million from additional resources for a training fund to support individuals affected by recent redundancies in the mid-Fife area. £600,000 of this funding has already been released to Fife Council to help with training, while the remaining will be distributed through Opportunities Fife
•Supporting business growth – £2 million from additional resources for a range of interventions including support for companies in the Tullis Russell supply chain, intensified support for growth businesses, a new business accelerator pilot programme targeting support at selected business to help them with leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation, creating a small business hub and establishing a central Fife business investment fund
•Community regeneration – £0.25 million from additional resources to support community and town centre projects in the Glenrothes area and the most affected communities in Central Fife
•Business infrastructure and investment - £2.25 million from additional resources to explore future uses of the Tullis Russell site, including the biomass heat generation and developments at Queensway Industrial Estate and other industrial estates in Glenrothes and Kirkcaldy as well as a long term strategic assessment of the central Fife economy.