WORK has begun to turn a building in the centre of Kincardine into a £500,000 state-of-the-art enterprise and training hub.

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust and Fife Council confirmed that work started this week to transform the near-derelict former Clydesdale Bank building at 2 Kirk Street, with the Longannet Task Force also supporting the project.

The development is the first major initiative to tackle economic fall-out from last year’s closure of the Longannet Power Station, which wiped out 230 direct jobs and an estimated 1000 indirect jobs at a cost of £50 million a year to the local economy.

Nicky Wilson, Scottish trustee and vice-chair of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, which bought the building, said: “The Coalfields Enterprise and Training Hub will be a fantastic state-of-the-art facility which will promote an enterprising communities culture across the Longannet area of Fife.”

The renovation and restoration work is expected to be completed by around April.

Business Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “The premature closure of Longannet Power Station has been of great concern to us because of its economic impact, and I am delighted we have been able to support this bold initiative with £250,000 of Scottish Government funding.

“Using their expertise in the area, the project partners are creating a vital resource to help support new businesses in the area and this will also help to support existing businesses to grow and diversify."