ROSYTH could become a central part of a Forth Green Freeport with the potential to create 50,000 jobs and "attract billions of investment".

A public and private sector consortium led by Forth Ports and including Babcock, Fife Council and the Scarborough Muir Group submitted their bid on Monday.

Green freeports are a joint venture between the Scottish and UK governments which will see two special economic zones, which offer tax breaks and low tariffs to businesses, set up north of the border.

Forth Ports hope their bid, which encompasses 550 hectares across three key ports – Grangemouth, Leith and Rosyth – as well as Edinburgh Airport and industrial facilities and logistics centres on both sides of the river, will be chosen.

Chief executive Charles Hammond OBE said: “The Forth is Scotland’s most prized trading and industrial asset and a Forth Green Freeport enables Scotland to reduce emissions while creating technologies and jobs for the future.

"It will attract billions of investment for renewable offshore wind and hydrogen manufacture, enabling industrial decarbonisation and a reliable, clean energy supply with rapid distribution and export potential.

"Scotland has just over 20 years to deliver national decarbonisation and our bid provides an unmissable opportunity to deliver this in support of the country’s net zero ambitions."

It's one of five bids and, if chosen, it's hoped the tax incentives will help Rosyth become a hub for innovation in advanced modular manufacturing in offshore wind, shipbuilding and energy systems.

He added: “Our vision is for the Forth Green Freeport to re-industrialise Scotland and spread the benefits of trade widely into the communities that need it the most, through the establishment of a green growth investment corridor creating 50,000 jobs in renewable energy, green manufacturing and alternative fuels.

"These jobs will not just be in Grangemouth, Leith and Rosyth, but in Glasgow and Edinburgh; the Lothians, Stirling and Falkirk; and Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy."

Freeport zones are centred around docks, airports or railway hubs and aim to encourage economic growth by making it easier and cheaper to move goods in and out of the country.

The two green freeports should open for business in Spring 2023 and the bid consortium also includes Ineos, Edinburgh and Falkirk councils and Edinburgh Airport.

Mr Hammond said: “This is a true partnership of private and public sector organisations who share the vision for the Forth with a bid that will benefit the whole of Scotland.

"It will help establish the Forth as the key industrial site for supporting offshore wind deployment in the North Sea, then build on these strengths to service demand for renewable energy technologies in global markets.

“Our team already has a track record of successfully delivering a freeport in England; we have unlocked large, undeveloped industrial sites; and we have credible investors lined up to deliver the innovation required for inclusive and sustainable growth in Scotland’s economy.”

The UK Government is promoting freeports – there are already three operating in England at the Thames, Teesside and the Humber – as part of its “levelling up” agenda and it has committed £52 million to setting up two new sites in Scotland.

Holyrood ministers will offer financial support through business rates relief and land and building transaction tax.

Councillor Altany Craik, from Fife Council, said: “The work undertaken to date ensures that once more, Fife is being promoted as a prime investment location within Scotland. This is consistent with the work we continue to do within our local communities to realise regeneration and investment in our communities."

Dunfermline and West Fife MP Douglas Chapman has welcomed the bid and said: "The bid now goes forward for further consideration but, if successful, could help create new jobs in West Fife and open up opportunities for local small and medium-sized businesses.

"Scotland is keen to develop a Net Zero economy and there are lot of the features in the Forth Ports bid that could take us closer to that goal.

"As a member of the APPG on Freeports at Westminster, I've followed closely how Freeports could boost economic activity at Rosyth. In Scotland, the Scottish Government have insisted that fair work practices are part of our deal and that's an additional reason why we can make it work well for West Fife."