TWO ambitious and game changing City Deals – the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal (ESESCR) and Tay Cities Deal – are set to be progressed by Fife Council on Thursday, at the Policy and Co-ordination Committee and Lochgelly and Cowdenbeath are part of the package.

Fife Council members are set to debate and endorse the Fife Industrial Innovation Investment Programme Full Business Case, a £48.4m ten-year programme delivered by Fife Council as part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.

The overall investment of £48.4m represents funding of £35m from the Scottish Government and £9.2m from Fife Council, with the remainder funded from the sale of serviced employment land. Once approved, the delivery of the first phase will start in 2019/20.

The Fife Industrial Innovation Investment Programme is designed to support the growth of innovative businesses in Fife, and improve the region’s economy, productivity and contribute to the delivery of inclusive growth.

The programme is expected to create over 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 developed are developed and include the The Avenue Industrial Estate, in Lochgelly.

Further phases include: Levenmouth Business Park, Buckhaven; John Smith Business Park, Kirkcaldy; Westwood Industrial Estate, Glenrothes; and Rosyth and Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath Town Centres.

Fife Council Co-Leader, Cllr David Ross, said: “The Fife Industrial Innovation Investment 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. By working with Fife businesses to harness opportunities from the adoption of data driven innovation it will deliver a sustained investment programme to support the delivery of inclusive growth and innovation.”

Fife Council Co-Leader, Cllr David Alexander, added: “This initiative will increase the supply of serviced employment land and new industrial, office and business space. This will be achieved through direct investment by the council in its existing land holdings, and new acquisitions, as well as working in partnership with private sector land owners and developers to leverage additional investment and funding into Fife and the City Region.

Subject to final approval, Fife Council will secure grant funding of £35 million via the terms of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, previously agreed in August 2018.