Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Funding allows green energy centre work to start

Aerial shot of the Guardbridge site Image copyright St Andrews University
Image caption Aerial shot of the Guardbridge site

European funding of £11m will allow work to start on a new green energy centre in Fife, the Scottish government has said.

Hot water from the plant in Guardbridge will be used to heat laboratories and student residences in St Andrews.

The £25m centre, on the site of a former paper mill, will save up to 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

It will help the university become the first carbon neutral higher education institution in the UK.

It is expected that 225 jobs will be created in its construction.

The biomass facility will use only virgin roundwood, locally sourced from forests.

It will also be used for university research and it is hoped the centre will bring further investment in renewable technologies to Fife.

'Major strategic step'

Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil said: "The construction of the Guardbridge energy centre will act as a springboard for the regeneration of the village, which will provide an economic boost for the wider Fife economy.

"The centre's projected carbon savings will help the environment and the local area will benefit from the university's commitment to job creation and apprenticeships.

"The project also underlines the sector's commitment to innovation and research, backed by significant investment from the Scottish Government."

Derek Watson, St Andrews University chief operating officer, said: "Guardbridge represents a major strategic step for the university.

"This large industrial site lends itself to the creation of a range of renewable energies which are vital for our efforts to remain one of Europe's leading research institutions.

"We believe the diverse range of potential uses for Guardbridge has the capacity to re-establish this huge site as a key economic centre in Fife."

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