New jobs on the horizon as Shepherd puts in masterplan

Published: 7 Oct 2011 08:3019 comments

SHEPHERD Offshore has submitted its masterplan to revitalise the former Hyundai/Motorola plant into a vibrant renewables hub and finally bring long-promised jobs to the site which has lain empty since being built in the 1990s.

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The Newcastle-based firm, owned by the Shepherd brothers, is "delighted to be bringing forward proposals to deliver the largest new investment in Fife for more than a decade".

The centrepiece will be a renewables centre of excellence creating a hub of activity and expertise in the emerging green energy sector which can attract major investment.

Alongside that will be 35 acres of housing on the western side of the 150-acre site, which is likely to equate to 400-500 homes.

Another key element is a proposed education campus which it is hoped by the developers could become the new home of Carnegie College.

There are also plans for a hotel, three acres of retail and five acres allocated to office use, and green space to provide one of the biggest parks in Scotland.

Dunfermline MP Thomas Docherty welcomed the proposals, saying, "This is an exciting plan and another major milestone towards creating much-needed jobs at Halbeath.

"I think there is a sensible balance, a good mix of large business with small business use and they have not gone for the top level of housing from their earlier options.

"It's also no secret that this is my preferred location for Carnegie College. We already have a new primary school in the area and I would very much like to see either Woodmill or St Columba's high school relocated there over the next decade.

"From my regular contact with council officers I know they don't want any unnecessary delays holding up the process and I would hope there could be a decision made early in the new year."

Andy Williamson, director of business development at Shepherd Offshore, said, "Our aim is to deliver real investment, real jobs, transform the local education facilities and help secure a key role for Dunfermline and Fife in the renewable energy sector.

"At the same time, we see some scope for developing new homes for families - many of which we hope will be for families who work on the site.

"We also believe that by having a significant area of the site as green space, we can help create a massive and unique new area of parkland that will enhance the setting of the development, whilst also giving local residents access to new parkland.

"We are delighted to be bringing forward proposals to deliver the largest new investment in Fife for more than a decade.

"Our aim is to help Fife play a vital role in the sunrise renewable industries, to provide world-class new educational facilities that can transform Dunfermline as a place of learning and create new family housing that will provide high-quality homes for our workforce and others.

"By keeping one third of the site as green space, we aim to help facilitate one of Scotland's biggest and best new park areas.

"This is about delivering investment and moving forward. The Halbeath site can be transformed from a symbol of disappointment to an exciting vision of the potential, vibrancy and future of Fife.

"We are hugely impressed by all of the people that we have met and by the support that we've received. By working together we are convinced that we can help attract further investment and jobs for Dunfermline and Fife."

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