Centre open for business

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Fife Energy Park’s flagship development, Fife Renewables Innovation Centre, was officially opened last Thursday.

The £3 million, state of the art facility is a centre of excellence for the fast moving renewables sector, offering superb, flexible and affordable business space to clients with excellent in-house support.

The centre has already beaten all its original targets, with over 50 percent of the units now occupied.

BiFab, which started life in Burntisland, is among the innovative and dynamic businesses at the park.

Fife Council leader, Alex Rowley, who joined United Kingdom energy minister, Edward Davey, at the opening, said: “ Not only has BiFab been successful in securing many major offshore energy contracts, this company has shown outstanding commitment to the young people of Fife and has recently recruited 20 apprentices from the local area with support from the Council, given them prospects for an excellent future.

“This has been made possible through the £5m investment we have made over the next three years in apprenticeships, so we can grow the workforce of the future while meeting the skills needs of industry.

“There is no doubt the Fife Renewable Innovations Centre is key to future growth of our economy and I hope that other businesses grasp the opportunity to be a part of Methil’s success story.”

Mr Davey said: “The centre is a superb example of Fife leading the way in attracting investment, encouraging innovation and creating jobs in the renewable energy sector.

Fife Renewables Innovation Centre is a further expansion of the Energy Park Fife, a joint venture project between Scottish Enterprise and Fife Council and one of the fastest growing renewable energy clusters in the UK.

Since its completion in June, lastyear occupancy for the Fife Renewables Innovation Centre is well ahead of projections with 52 per cent of the units now leased against a target of 20 per cent by the end of the financial year in March.

Its impressive list of tenants includes Samsung Heavy Industries who are installing and testing a 7MW offshore wind demonstrator turbine at Energy Park Fife; Reach Engineering & Diving Services, which offers specialist access and engineering services; Hydrosphere, a leading supplier of marine navigation aids and Energy Project Management, who specialise in taking a range of renewable technologies including the Flumill tidal device from concept to commercial realisation.

The project has been developed with £2,250,000 of investment from Fife Council and a further £715,000 which has been provided by the European Regional Development Fund.