Plans for Talgo train manufacturing plant at Longannet approved

Lightweight train manufacturer TALGO has had plans for a site at Longannet approved
Lightweight train manufacturer TALGO has had plans for a site at Longannet approved

Fife Council has approved plans to build a train manufacturing plant.

The site, at Longannet, had been earmarked by Spanish firm Talgo for their new train manufacturing plant for technologically advanced trains.

The plant is expected to create 1000 jobs on site, with up to 5000 jobs created in other industries.

Initially it was believed that the plans would only proceed if the company secured the contract for the new HS2 high speed rail line, however, the company confirmed the plans would go ahead regardless.

Talgo specialises in designing and making fast lightweight trains. Its trains currently operate in 28 countries across the globe.

However before the plans could be fully approved, Clackmannanshire Council raised concerns over the impact the rail factory would have on their road network, due to sharing a border at the edge of Fife.

Planning officer William Shand told councillors that if they approved the plans today, officers would work with the council on traffic mitigation. A condition was placed on the application that only part of the site could be developed until mitigation was in place.

At the planning meeting on Wednesday, Councillor Helen Law said: “I welcome this report and I’m delighted to see something happen on that site. Having been raising the possibility of a rail link from Fife to Glasgow, this development will bring us one step closer.”

Fife Council co-leader David Alexander said: “Planning application approval will see approximately 74 hectares of the site made available for investors into the Kingdom and will boost the economy within the South and West Fife and across the wider region.  

“We also see to secure secondary investment within Fife, recognising that the Longannet site and its infrastructure connections give rise to significant opportunities across the wider area. Around 1000 jobs are expected to be created.”

Co-leader David Ross added: “The Longannet site is nationally significant and critically important locally. The positive steps taken by Scottish Enterprise are warmly welcomed for the local area and will create new employment and economic opportunities in Fife.

“This latest milestone builds upon the works of the Longannet Taskforce, whose focus has been to support the wider regeneration of the area following the power station’s closure in 2016.

“We now look forward to showcasing the site to ensure that this location, which has driven past industrial revolutions, will once again be a catalyst towards business activity that drives a renewed innovation led economy.”

The power plant at Longannet was shut down in 2016, with redevelopment of the site driven by the Scottish Government, with support from Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Power and the members of the Longannet Task Force.