A project that will create jobs and turn a derelict site into sustainable accessible employment land has become the latest to be supported through the £10 million Levenmouth Reconnected Programme Fund.
Members of the Levenmouth Area Committee have today approved a grant request of £683,496 towards site servicing and remediation of the proposed Mountfleurie Business Park in Leven, where a number of business units will be developed for lease or sale.
Within Fife Council ownership, the site at Mountfleurie Industrial Estate is equidistant from both the proposed new Cameron Bridge and Leven railway stations, while it also benefits from being an allocated employment site within Fife’s Local Development Plan for a range of business uses.
Around 57 direct and 114 indirect job opportunities are expected to be created by unlocking the site for enterprise investment and development, while it is anticipated that the project will lever in an estimated £4-£5m of additional private sector investment into the area.
Pamela Stevenson, Fife Council Economic Development Service Manager, said: "We are delighted that the Levenmouth Area Committee have agreed to contribute to the Mountfleurie Business Park Site Servicing from the Levenmouth Reconnected fund, unlocking and bringing it back into productive use 1.05ha of currently vacant and derelict land.
“The investment in the project will accelerate the delivery of serviced and sustainably accessed sites, enabling the development of Class 4,5 and 6 business uses providing market ready employment land acting as a driver for economic growth also complementing the investment being made in the reinstated railway to support sustainable workforce mobility.”
Money allocated from Fife Council’s Vacant and Derelict Land Fund will help remediate the site (pictured below), but further capital to service the site is necessary to avoid delays in realising this opportunity.
The project becomes the sixth initiative to date to benefit from large grant funding via the Levenmouth Reconnected Programme Fund.
The fund, managed by Fife Council, aims to maximise the economic and social opportunities presented by the new Leven rail link, the regeneration of the River Leven and its proposed path network, investments in renewable energy, and other initiatives being implemented within Levenmouth.
Five major projects were approved for large grant funding in spring 2022, with almost £1.4 million allocated to initiatives across Levenmouth.
Those were Levenmouth Business Park (£714,253), Silverburn Park Flax Mill (£500,000), Community Trade Hub (£202,050), CLEAR Buckhaven and Methil (£178,345), and Kennoway Pump Track (£43,754).
Councillor Colin Davidson, Levenmouth Area Committee convener, said: “The Levenmouth Reconnected Programme has been a huge success so far and we’ve seen a number of projects coming forward that will build on the large scale investments being made in the area.
“This latest one will bring jobs, further investment and put vacant land to productive use, so it’s something we’re all keen to see develop.
“We know there are a number of other exciting applications in the pipeline as well, and we look forward to seeing these come to committee over the coming months.”
Meanwhile, councillors also agreed to increase the LRP’s Small Grants Fund by a further £50,000 after hearing about the many benefits and outcomes delivered from it so far.
A total of £100,000 was initially set aside for the Small Grants Fund, which would benefit projects seeking up to £5,000 in funding, and a range of applications have been successful.
However, with that now almost fully committed, more money is to be made available via the Small Grants Fund, and applications are being invited from individuals, groups and businesses who think the cash could be put to good use.
Programme manager Phil Clarke said: “This programme has funded a range of small local projects delivering across the themes of the Levenmouth Reconnected Programme.
“Given the value of the Small Grants Fund and the local desire for its continuation, it seems appropriate for a further £50,000 to be added to the budget.”
Anyone who thinks their project could benefit from small grant funding should visit Grants under £5,000 | Levenmouth Reconnected (fife.scot) to find out how to apply.
NB: The process to approve grant awards from the £10m Levenmouth Reconnected Programme (LRP) fund was approved by the Policy & Coordination Committee on 13 May 2021 (2021 PC78 para. 296 refers).
The committee agreed that larger grant applications, seeking over £5,000 (up to a maximum of £5m), would be assessed by a Working Group panel with a recommendation made to the Oversight Group for approval and then advanced to the Levenmouth Area Committee for decision.
Small grant awards are assessed and processed by the Levenmouth Local Community and Neighbourhoods Panel.
Half of the £10m fund comes from the Scottish Government, with the remainder coming from Fife Council.