Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney marked the official start of construction work on the Guardbridge £25m green energy centre.
The biomass facility will pump hot water from the plant four miles underground to heat and cool laboratories and student residences in St Andrews. The green energy centre is a key part of St Andrews University’s drive to become the UK’s first carbon-neutral university for energy.
The Scottish Government says the green energy centre will help to regenerate north east Fife by creating more than 225 jobs during its construction.
The University has developed the Guardbridge Guarantee as part of the project, which ensures that the project supports apprenticeship and graduate training. This is intended to create and sustain jobs while working with the local community to promote environment and energy projects and local business.
Mr Swinney said:
“I am delighted to be in Guardbridge today as work begins on this innovative and ambitious project. By committing to the Guarantee, the University is ensuring that Guardbridge and the wider area will not only benefit immediately from the substantial number of new jobs and apprenticeships, but the surrounding communities will also continue to profit from the expected regeneration outcomes for years to come. At the same time the project will deliver significant carbon savings, as well as financial savings to the University.
“The Scottish Government is using all the levers at its disposal, including through European Funding initiatives, to help regenerate areas and maximise employment opportunities that help achieve sustainable economic growth.”