ROSYTH will be at the heart of one of Scotland's first green freeports which promises to create 50,000 jobs and generate £6 billion of investment.

The Forth was one of two winning bids north of the border, the other is at Inverness and Cromarty Firth, jointly selected by the Scottish and UK governments to become special economic zones which will offer tax breaks and low tariffs to businesses.

And it should lead to the major enhancement of the Rosyth port – and waterfront areas within Fife – with the development of almost 150 hectares of land at Rosyth and the prospect of creating 7,000 new 'green' jobs between there and Burntisland.

Forth Ports, who own the Port of Rosyth and six other docks around the east coast, is the lead partner in the green freeport proposal and chief executive Charles Hammond OBE said: "Today's shortlisting is great news for Scotland, for new green jobs and for the country’s drive to net zero.

“Together with our consortium partners, our bid will re-industrialise the nation and create large scale economic development.

"Our green freeport will accelerate investment and generate 50,000 new green jobs by acting as a catalyst for new technologies and renewable energy manufacturing.

"This has the potential to unlock £6bn of private and public investment for Scotland and create new training facilities, factories, logistics parks, rail, freight and fuel terminals and to enhance our creative industries."

The Forth Green Freeport consortium is a private and public partnership that includes Forth Ports, Babcock, Ineos, Edinburgh Airport, the Scarborough Muir Group, Falkirk Council, Fife Council and the City of Edinburgh Council.

The bid’s strategically located tax and customs sites span 550 hectares in Grangemouth, Leith, Rosyth, Burntisland and Edinburgh Airport, with the aim of making it easier and cheaper to move goods in and out of the country.

Dunfermline and West Fife MP, Douglas Chapman, said it was "fantastic news" and added: “This long-awaited announcement is very welcome and could prove to be a major driver to our economy in West Fife with the likes of the Port of Rosyth and our coastline towards Kincardine benefitting from significant investment in new green industries, skills, entrepreneurship and long term, sustainable well-paid jobs.

“I look forward to learning more about Forth’s Greenport timetable for delivery and the opportunities for Dunfermline and West Fife.”

Forth Ports said the green freeport will generate a £4bn boost in GVA (Gross Value Add) to Scotland’s economy and accelerate the country’s just transition to meet net zero targets.

Mr Hammond added: "The benefits of trade will be spread widely into the communities that need it the most, through the establishment of a green growth investment corridor creating tens of thousands of jobs in low carbon logistics, renewable energy, green manufacturing and alternative fuels.

"These new jobs will not just be in Grangemouth, Leith and Rosyth, but in Glasgow and Edinburgh, the Lothians, Stirling and Falkirk, Dunfermline and Burntisland and across the UK.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “This is a milestone achievement in the process to deliver green freeports for Scotland.

"Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport and Forth Green Freeport will support businesses to create high-quality, well-paid new jobs, promote growth and regeneration, and make a significant contribution to achieving our net zero ambitions.

“A rigorous joint selection process has been followed. The successful applicants showed a strong determination to embed fair work practices, including payment of the real living wage, and to enshrine net zero initiatives in their work.

“We look forward to working closely with them to ensure they deliver maximum positive impact and become operational as soon as possible."

Fife Council's economy spokesperson, Councillor Altany Craik, said: "Fife Council welcome government commitment to the Forth Green Freeport and look forward to continuing close working with all, including Forth Ports, to deliver the jobs, investment and economic outcomes that can now be realised for Fife.

"The opportunity to re-industrialise the Forth sustainably and to harness the strategic employment and investment opportunities along our Fife coast will enable all parts of Fife and in particular mid Fife, to benefit economically. "

Mr Chapman added: "This announcement comes a matter of months behind Dunfermline becoming Scotland’s eighth city which was another signal that this constituency is on the up and has the potential to grow and attract new opportunities to the area.

“Dunfermline now sits at the heart of our regional economy, with state-of-the-art new high schools and a new college all coming online from the middle of this decade, and now an opportunity to revive our port facilities.

"We have all the ingredients to make Dunfermline and West Fife one of the most attractive places to start and grow a business, a family and a successful, sustainable green economy.”

In October last year, Forth Ports said newly created green freeport jobs at Rosyth would mainly serve activity such as shipping logistics, advanced manufacturing and shipbuilding, in addition to the assembly of offshore wind and low carbon energy generation.

And they said developments at the port would enhance Scotland’s international connectivity and export capacity through a brand new freight hub.

Scottish Renewables' Emma Harrick said: "The Forth region is already home to several offshore wind farms and the green freeport sites could act as gateways to those, as well as others which are yet to be developed.

"A proposed renewables hub at the Port of Leith, as well as an ambitious offshore renewables manufacturing facility at Rosyth, are exciting steps forward and will also benefit as part of the Forth Green Freeport plans.

"Both green freeports will help Scotland compete on the international stage as offshore wind develops to become the mainstay of electricity generation in the UK and we look forward to working with all partners to maximise the economic benefits which will be delivered."