THE Forth Greenport could be the key to unlocking vital cash to allow a direct ferry service from Rosyth to Europe to set sail.

Campaigners looking to re-establish a route are hoping that money from a new £150m Investment Opportunity Fund from the UK Government could be accessed to help re-launch their plans.

Hopes of bringing back a Rosyth ferry link were dashed earlier this year when those behind 'Project Brave' cited the lack of financial support from the Scottish and UK governments as the reason for the plans sinking.

Providing an update this week, lead campaigner and local Dunfermline and West Fife MP Douglas Chapman said they have now focused their attention on the new government fund.

READ MORE: Renewed call for ferry link from Rosyth to Europe

"The demand for an efficient and regular direct ferry route into Europe from Rosyth remains buoyant and meeting this need for both freight and passengers has been our driving force since the campaign started," he explained.

"While Scottish Government funds are limited, we are at the start of a new financial year and we'll keep pressing them for what is a relatively small amount of support - some of which could be provided in kind.

"Our attention, however, is now focussed on the recently announced £150m Investment Opportunity Fund which the Forth Greenport could access and submit an application for in the coming months.

"I've written simultaneously to Micheal Gove as the sponsoring Secretary of State of this new fund and to the CEO and Chair of the Governance Board of the Forth Greenport to encourage their participation in applying for the new fund which could well deliver all the initial investment required to get the Euro-ferry service up and running very soon.

"It should be remembered that improving maritime connectivity between Rosyth and international markets was a key selling point in the Forth Ports consortium winning the original Greenport bid which was also backed by Fife Council who are now strategic partners in the Greenport initiative.

"I certainly hope that the response from Forth Greenport is a positive one and a funding bid is made as getting this service operational in the near future is critical to supporting exporting businesses in Scotland and to give a very much needed shot in the arm in our hard working and hard pressed in bound tourist industry."

READ MORE: Lack of government support puts Rosyth ferry plan 'on hold'

As reported previously by the Press, it had been hoped a new route, from Rosyth to Dunkirk, could have set sail in May but ferry operator DFDS stated the that date was "no longer feasible" and that "no further progress can be made".

In an email, the company blamed a lack of "commitment" from Holyrood and Westminster and said it made their business case for the route less viable.