KIRKCALDY harbour is set to reopen to cargo ships, after more than two decades out of use.
Owners Forth Ports PLC confirmed the move this week - and it will be a working waterfront later this year.
The move will see Hutchison Flour Mill undergo a £829,000 re-construction to allow delivery of wheat direct from coastal ships - the first into the harbour for 20 years.
However, the move has not pleased everyone, with local sea fishing groups claiming the ships will interfere with their right to use the it for leisure purposes.
The work is expected to be completed in a few months, with dredging beginning in the harbour in the Spring, and the first cargo expected in the summer.
Tim Hall, operations director at Hutchison Flour, said: “This will allow us to bring in significant quantities of the different wheats we require by sea rather than by road, giving us more potential to supply our customers consistent quality flours through difficult conditions of climate and volatile commodity markets.
Fewer lorry journeys
‘‘We will also remove almost 250,000 lorry miles from Scotland’s roads.”
The move could reduce lorry journeys by almost 5000 a year.
Nik Scott-Gray, business development manager of Forth Ports PLC, said: “We are delighted that Kirkcaldy Harbour will become a working quay once again.
‘‘The location of Hutchisons at the Harbour ensures that this coastal shipping initiative delivers a continuous product supply to the Mill while reducing the lorry journeys by around 4000 per year.”
However, when plans were surfacing to resurrect the harbour last year, members of Kirkcaldy Boating and Sea Fishing Club - which occupies the inner harbour next to the flour mill - said the proposals could destroy the club.