THE re-opening of the Rosyth to Zeebrugge ferry route has received backing at the recent SNP conference.

A 2023 target for the re-launch was set earlier this year and now the project has been backed by delegates from all over Scotland at the Aberdeen conference on Saturday.

Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy MSP Annabelle Ewing said: "As the constituency MSP for Rosyth, I want to ensure that everything possible is done to explore ways in which the resumption of freight – and, indeed, passenger travel – from the port of Roysth can be promoted and secured. I have been in correspondence with Scottish ministers urging their support, too.

"So I am delighted, therefore, that SNP conference – with delegates coming together from all across Scotland – has given its full backing to the proposed re-opening of the Rosyth to Zeebrugge ferry route.

"That shows just how widely it's recognised how important this route could be, restoring a shipping link with mainland Europe, hopefully developing into the return of a passenger ferry link too."

Rosyth councillor Brian Goodall spoke at the conference on the benefits of the ferry link and the importance of economic development in West Fife.

He told the Press: “I was happy to speak in support of the motion at the SNP’s annual conference as I see the return of a continental ferry link to Rosyth as an environmentally-positive type of development for our area, and it will be so much better than dismantling nuclear submarines and storing nuclear waste, which is the type of work we get when it’s left to the UK Government to decide things.”

Douglas Chapman, the Dunfermline and West Fife MP, has been campaigning to re-establish the link. In June, the Press reported that Ptarmigan Shipping and DFDS had signed agreements to look into the route and set a target date for the reintroduction of freight journeys.

Commenting at that time, Mr Chapman said: "Following Brexit, we have identified many exporters who are keen to use a more direct route into key EU markets and every avenue is being explored to boost trade using this new, cost-effective ferry service.

"We've found that the project has a high amount of public and commercial goodwill and the hard work will continue in both Scotland and in Flanders to make sure the service is a huge and sustainable success."