PLANS to create a train manufacturing plant at Longannet appear to be dead in the water after the firm behind the £40 million plans failed to secure a contract for HS2.

Talgo had announced in October 2018 their plans for a factory at the old power station at Kincardine that would employ 1,000 people but work has yet to start.

And a letter to newly-elected local councillor Graeme Downie has indicated that the plans for the plant have now hit the buffers.

Cllr Downie had written to Scottish Enterprise asking for an update on the project.

A response from the organisation's chief executive, Adrian Gillespie, said an agreed option to purchase the site from owners Scottish Power had now expired.

He stated: "While Scottish Enterprise had agreed an option to purchase the site from its owner Scottish Power, that has now expired following confirmation from Talgo last year that they had been unsuccessful in the bid process for HS2.

"We would, of course, be happy to meet with you to discuss further the efforts we are undertaking to secure a productive use for the site."

The West Fife and Coastal Villages councillor has slammed the Scottish Government for the failure of the project.

"We have seen this again and again with the SNP, from ferries to BiFab," he said. "They are more interested in looking good than in actually helping people and communities. We were led to believe these plans could go ahead regardless of Talgo’s HS2 contract but that appears not to be the case.

“I believe Scottish Enterprise entered into these discussions in good faith but have been let down by the lack of a strategic plan from the SNP/Green Scottish Government.

"The Longannet site has fantastic road and sea links and the fact the Scottish Government have failed to prioritise realising this potential is an absolute scandal.”

“I wrote to the Chief Executive of Talgo two weeks ago asking for more information but have yet to receive a reply. I will be speaking to colleagues and officers at Fife Council to see what more can be done but a site of this importance requires encouragement from the centre and that has been sadly lacking in this case.

“We need a proper, long-term strategy for the Longannet site that takes advantage of local skills and bring all parties round the table to put together a plan that seeks to bring jobs, possibly related to solving climate change, to this part of Fife.”

In December last year, a Talgo spokesperson told the Press they still had plans for the site but the "precise timing" would depend on an appropriate order or group of orders.

They added: “When we first came forward with plans, people thought it was all predicated on this one bid but Talgo are pursuing other orders from around the world and there are other interesting opportunities in the British Isles.

“It’s not only building for the UK market but also building for export that is really uppermost in our minds.”