A MEETING aimed at helping Fife businesses struggling with energy costs has taken place.

Neale Hanvey MP organised the event after receiving multiple cries for help from firms across his Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency.

Designed to bring traders and retailers together, the event included several local business speakers along with Fife Council representatives, Pamela Stevenson from Economic Development, Business and Employability, and councillor Judy Hamilton.

Mr Hanvey said Fife is "ideally placed" for energy investment as it is rich in resources such as wind, tidal and geo-thermal but said the UK and Scottish Governments have "failed to realise" this potential.

"I have knocked on the door of each government asking for support for our business community, but frustratingly, my pleas for help have gone unanswered," he said.

“Likewise, energy firms already operating in and the constituency and its near-offshore are reaping vast profits from this crisis, but so far, they have refused step up to support the very communities from which they are profiting.

"Fife Ice Arena is just one iconic venue we risk losing due to continued inaction tackling unsustainable bills.

“A failure to protect businesses and resources like the ice rink could have a devastating impact on the wider community, affecting not only business and jobs, but also local charities and food banks who are already under enormous strain because of increasing poverty.”

The MP believes one solution to spiralling commercial bills could be collective negotiation with a single supplier, or bulk energy purchasing, and Mr Hanvey set out measures that a united business community could take to achieve this.

He added: "My office is open to anyone who needs assistance, and I will do my utmost to facilitate a workable outcome. This is not the time for personal or party politics and, in the absence of meaningful government support, the only solution is to come together and take action ourselves.

"Big things grow from little acorns, and I urge you all to speak to your neighbours and spread the word.”

An online meeting will take place on April 25 and any businesses wishing to join the group should contact neale.hanvey.mp@parliament.uk for more information.