Funding has been secured for a £25 million green energy centre at St Andrews University which will create 225 jobs.
It is hoped the site at Guardbridge will help regenerate part of north-east Fife, with apprenticeships and opportunities in the construction of the centre.
The scheme is part of a drive by St Andrews to become the UK’s first carbon-neutral university.
An £11 million loan from the Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres Fund, a joint Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund initiative, secured the final part of the funding, adding to a £10 million grant from the Scottish Funding Council and £4 million from the university itself.
The biomass facility will use only virgin roundwood, locally sourced from forests, and hot water from the plant will be pumped underground to heat and cool laboratories and student residences in St Andrews.
It will also be used for university research and it is hoped the centre will bring further investment in renewable technologies to Fife.
More than 225 jobs will be created during the construction, the Scottish Government said, and local companies are being encouraged to bid for sub-contracts.
Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil said: “The construction of the Guardbridge energy centre will act as a springboard for the regeneration of the village, which will provide an economic boost for the wider Fife economy.
“The centre’s projected carbon savings will help the environment and the local area will benefit from the university’s commitment to job creation and apprenticeships.
“The project also underlines the sector’s commitment to innovation and research, backed by significant investment from the Scottish Government.”
St Andrews University chief operating officer, Derek Watson, said: “Guardbridge represents a major strategic step for the university. This large industrial site lends itself to the creation of a range of renewable energies which are vital for our efforts to remain one of Europe’s leading research institutions.
“We believe the diverse range of potential uses for Guardbridge has the capacity to re-establish this huge site as a key economic centre in Fife.”