Forth Ports Limited and Fife-based Scott Group have jointly announced a multimillion pound investment for the regeneration of the eastern end of the Port of Burntisland following approval of full planning permission from Fife Council.
Working together to secure the long-term future of the Port of Burntisland, Forth Ports and Scott Group, supported by a Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) grant from Scottish Enterprise, will initially invest around £2.5m in the development of the six acre site in to a state-of-the-art pallet manufacturing facility including upgrades to the electricity supply serving the port, refurbishment of the existing building and surrounding hard standing areas, the relocation and installation of new equipment and upgrades to local road infrastructure to ensure site traffic avoids the High Street.
With its head-office in Fife, Scott Group’s main timber pallet manufacturing operation in Scotland currently operates from the Port of Rosyth. Due to the success of this business and other neighbouring businesses expanding at the port, the decision was taken to relocate.
Founded in Scotland, and now with 27 operational sites throughout the UK, Scott Group was keen to maintain its strong Scottish roots in Fife, with the transfer of its Port of Rosyth operations to Burntisland. This decision, supported by the successful planning application, has saved 48 Fife-based jobs, and it is hoped the long term impact of this move will bring further local employment opportunities to the region.
Commenting on the project, Stuart Wallace, Divisional Director of Forth Ports said: “We are delighted that the planning application has been granted and look forward to reinvigorating the Port of Burntisland. This investment with our partners, Scott Group, will secure important jobs for Fife, create a vital hub for their business and bring economic benefit to the local community. We have worked with Scott Group for many years and we look forward to a successful partnership at Burntisland. Work on the warehouse at the port will begin immediately and we hope to see Scott Pallets fully operational by early September.”
Alan Gibson, Managing Director at Scott Pallets, said: “We are delighted to announce that our relocation to Burntisland is imminent. We were founded in Scotland over 25 years ago and maintaining our heritage as a Scottish business is vital. We recently restructured our management team at Scott Pallets and confirmed plans for reinvestment in the business to facilitate our continued growth, increasing employment and supporting our customers meet their environmental objectives. This move allows us to lay down our long terms plans for creating a centre of excellence for timber pallet manufacturing, and we look forward to seeing the impact and results of our plans.”
With development work already underway, the current building at the port in Burntisland will be adapted to suit the needs of the pallet business and the quayside will be adapted for handling timber being delivered by ship. It is anticipated that the installation of equipment will be in progress during June and July, with the site being fully operational in September 2014.
Eleanor Taylor, Business Support Director, Scottish Enterprise said: “We have worked with the Scott Group for a number of years and are pleased to be part of its growth story. Over recent months we have assisted in identifying a suitable site to relocate its pallet business from Rosyth and we are pleased to have been able to support the business with an RSA grant of £250,000 towards the development of the new site and to safeguard 48 Fife-based jobs. This grant will help the Scott Group achieve its strategic plan for the business and we will continue to work with the company as it moves forward with its growth plans.”