LONGANNET has made the final two in a decision about where a manufacturing plant – and 1,000 jobs – could be located.

Spanish company Talgo have £40 million investment plans for a factory to build trains and the options have been whittled down from six to two.

Either the former power station at Longannet or Chesterfield will be selected – a decision is expected mid-November.

Dunfermline and West Fife MP, Douglas Chapman, said: “It’s very exciting for West Fife to be in the running for this major investment in the future of the rail industry.

"We have got our fingers crossed that between the site at Longannet and the competitor site in Chesterfield that Fife can win the day."

Longannet closed in March 2016 with 370 direct job losses, it’s thought up to 1,000 jobs were affected overall, and the station is set to be demolished and the land cleared.

That could pave the way for Talgo to bring their manufacturing plant to West Fife and Mr Chapman said: “The site is currently owned by Scottish Power, whose Spanish parent company Iberdrola know all about working in Scotland, the strengths of the Scottish economy and the skills of our workforce.

"Hopefully some of Iberdrola’s positive experience of Scotland can be passed onto Talgo to help them make the right decision.

“Our great selling points are the talented people, research and development expertise through local universities or colleges and a well connected site which lies at the heart of Scotland.

"We are all hoping that Talgo see all our positives and choose Longannet as their new UK home when they make their decision later this month.”

Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson, said: “With potential for significant new jobs and supply chain opportunities, we are delighted that Longannet has been named as one of the final two shortlisted locations for Talgo’s factory.

“The Scottish Government are working with Talgo and public and private sector partners across Scotland to ensure maximum benefit from the opportunity that Talgo’s investment represents and look forward to Talgo’s final decision in the near future.”

Talgo is a specialised rolling stock engineering company mainly focused on designing, manufacturing and servicing technologically differentiated, fast, lightweight trains with an industrial presence in 28 countries.

The company's president, Carlos de Palacio, said: "The establishment of a manufacturing facility in the UK is a significant part of Talgo’s future strategy.

“Talgo’s aim is to establish true manufacturing – rather than assembling from parts made elsewhere. This means that we will draw from materials and expertise across the UK.

“This keeps more money in the UK economy and creates more skilled long-term jobs. Talgo also wants to develop a UK testing centre, and acceptance ability, to ensure a smooth and faultless introduction of new trains into service."

He added: "Although there can only be one factory site, we have established lasting relationships with all of the

countries, regions and areas that we have visited.

"We are now developing those relationships to ensure that – irrespective of the factory location – Talgo provides great opportunities across the UK.

“Talgo is renowned for innovation. We want to encourage innovation, drawing on skills from all parts

of the UK. We will shortly make a further announcement regarding our plans.”

Fife Council co-leader, Councillor David Alexander, said: “We are delighted that Talgo has announced that Longannet is one of only two locations the company has shortlisted to build a state-of-the-art factory. 

"We have worked tirelessly with the Scottish Government, and partners through the Longannet Task Force, to secure Longannet as a preferred site. 

"We strongly hope that Longannet will be the final preferred location and stand ready with our dedicated investment team, Invest in Fife, to support Scottish Government, Scottish Development International and Talgo to succeed in bringing this investment to Scotland and Fife. “

Co-leader Cllr David Ross added: “The council will do whatever it can to ensure that Longannet is the site chosen in the final selection.

"The strengths of the Longannet site are clear given its close proximity to the ports of Rosyth and Grangemouth. This will be a facility that will manufacture trains and develop world leading technology, employing up to a 1,000 people.   

"Longannet has excellent accessibility, infrastructure and energy supply and has access to skilled local workforce. If Longannet is chosen as the final site it will have a profound impact on the economy of Fife and Scotland.”

Talgo are competing to land the lucrative £2.75 billion contract, which has yet to be awarded by the UK Government, to build the trains for HS2.

HS2 is a high-speed railway under construction which, when completed, will connect London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester.

Scheduled to open in phases between 2026 and 2033, high-speed trains will travel up to 250 mph. The first high-speed rail line, HS1, connects London to the Channel Tunnel.