Plans to develop Guardbridge campus take ‘vital step’ forward

An artist's impression of St Andrews University's Eden Campus
An artist's impression of St Andrews University's Eden Campus

The signing of the heads of terms of the Tay Cities Region Deal has been heralded as a ‘vital step’ in plans to develop the Eden Campus at Guardbridge.

Partners in the £700 million region deal met in Perth last week to deliver the heads of terms for the agreement, with the Scottish and UK governments now committed to the deal.

Some £300m will be invested by the governments, subject to final approval of the businesses cases, while partners could contribute another £400m.

The deal will fund projects across north east Fife, Dundee, Angus, Perth and Kinross.

The University of St Andrews is among the winners and will be receiving funding to further develop its Eden Campus project.

A total of £26m has been allocated to help develop the campus, which could create around 500 new jobs and the redevelopment of an additional 5500 square metres of existing derelict buildings.

The funding will be used to develop things including a STEM and industry regional skills academy, computing and research data lab, and circular bio-economy centre.

Derek Watson, quaestor and factor at the University of St Andrews, said: “This looks like long awaited good news for the Tay Cities region and north east Fife. The allocation of over £26m for our Eden Campus project at Guardbridge is a vital step in our broader vision to create hundreds of new, high value jobs and bring smart, sustainable industry to this part of Scotland.

“We’ll be working closely on the detail of the deal with our partners at Fife Council and the Scottish and UK governments with the aim of ensuring we can move as quickly as possible to realise the benefits of this investment.

“At a time of wider national uncertainty, this is a very welcome vote of confidence in the potential of Scottish education and skills.”

MP Stephen Gethins added: “This is great news for the university, Guardbridge and north Fife area.

“The university has already made a huge commitment to the area with its investment in Eden Campus relocating over 400 jobs to Guardbridge and playing a crucial part in the regeneration of the area.

“The Tay Cities cash will enable plans to move forward and hopefully also attract inward investment that could create more jobs at the former paper mill site. Well done to everyone at the university who has worked on this bid.”