Task Force reports good progress and a further funding boost following Longannet closure
A Longannet Task Force meeting held yesterday (Tuesday, 6 December) at Kincardine Community Centre confirmed that good progress is being made to support the workforce affected by the closure and that proposals for industrial workshops and an Enterprise Hub in the town are developing well.
Task Force members heard that the resources allocated through the Scottish Government Local Economic Development Capital Stimulus Fund in September are helping with the response to the closure of Longannet Power Station.
Fife, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire Councils have also rolled out participatory budgeting initiatives to support the local communities most affected by the power station’s closure. This funding allows communities to decide which local projects are carried out.
Pauline Douglas, head of Operations of Coalfields Regeneration Trust Scotland (CRT), outlined the work underway to support the Longannet Task Force and confirmed that Scottish Government resources have been allocated to conduct a Charrette exercise within Kincardine. Further details will soon be publicised by CRT.
Cllr. David Ross, leader of Fife Council, said: “I’m pleased that officers are making real progress on proposals for new industrial workshops and an Enterprise Hub in Kincardine using money allocated by the Scottish Government. This demonstrates the value in resources being made available to assist the work of the Longannet Task Force, as I and the other Council Leaders have been calling for.
“I was also pleased to welcome CRT to the Task Force meeting today. The work that they are undertaking with local communities is really valuable and has been recognised by the allocation of funding by Scottish Government to conduct a Charrette.
“This builds on the £30k Community Choices funding that is being matched by Fife Council and will go towards priorities identified directly by local communities. I hope people will become involved in these initiatives during early 2017, and I look forward to hearing of progress when the Task Force next meets. ”
Cllr Lesley Laird, depute leader and executive spokesperson for Economy and Planning, said: “Fife Council has always been clear that the effect of Longannet closing is hugely significant for those local communities closest to the plant. The progress now being made on projects identified through the Longannet Task Force Economic Recovery Action Plan is helpful, but there remains work to do. I am pleased that the Task Force will continue to meet during 2017 to ensure that we continue to mitigate the economic impacts being felt.”