Montrose to benefit from significant renewables investment

MONTROSE is set to benefit from a ‘major’ new investment after Crown Estate Scotland announced the purchase of a commercial development site in the area.

The 123-acre Zero Four site has been purchased from ISLA Developments at a cost of £3.7 million. The deal forms part of Crown Estate Scotland’s long-term plan to invest in renewable energy and the expansion of the blue economy to deliver wider value for Scotland.

The site was formally the first operation RAF training airfield in the UK, with the Zero Four name emanating from the original runway call sign 04 22. The site has planning permission for a mixed use business park, with outline proposals including industrial units, offices, food retail, a held-drone port and hotel, and leisure and conference facilities.

Angus Council said that the site is considered to have ‘strong potential’ for supporting the development of key sectors, such as offshore renewables, as well as retail and hospitality – bringing benefits to the area around Montrose and helping to kick start a green economy recovery in the region.

Andy Wells, director of property for Crown Estate Scotland, said, “We’re very pleased to be able to make this announcement today, which we hope can deliver tangible benefits to the local community in the years to come. The site holds a great deal of potential and will allow us to build on the strong partnerships we already have in the marine energy and ports sectors. This would be good news at any time, but is especially welcome now as we look to kick-start economic recovery following the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, this offers a fantastic chance to bring major investment to Montrose and the wider north east region.”

Cabinet secretary for the environment, climate change and land reform, Roseanna Cunningham MSP, said, “The Scottish Government is committed to ending Scotland’s contribution to climate change and securing a sustainable future. Crown Estate Scotland’s purchase of the Montrose Zero Four project exemplifies that focus, marking a further major investment that will contribute to long term, sustainable economic development for generations to come and help support a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Kenny Clubb, project director for ISLA Developments, added, “Following purchase of the site in 2018, we immediately recognised the strategic role that the offshore wind sector would play for the region, reinforcing the aims of the local government’s Industrial & Clean Growth Strategies and positioning the renewable energy industry at the heart of the local community. Working with major stakeholders and existing employers already investing heavily in Montrose, including a very forward thinking Montrose Port Authority, the future is well set for the region.

“Having developed the enormous potential of Zero Four with Angus Council through involvement with the Tay Cities Region Deal, the Mercury Programme and One Public Estate Montrose,  we are delighted to have concluded the sale to Crown Estate Scotland. By handing the development reins over to them it positions the project & the whole region extremely well in terms of a solid & consistent approach between the Offshore & Onshore Renewables sectors, in particular.

“As the whole economy begins to recover following the Covid-19 pandemic, this sends out a most positive statement to all sectors and shows that Montrose is ideally positioned geographically and strategically, but most importantly… ready!”