By Brian Donnelly Business Correspondent
Plans for a new blue economy and renewables hub in Scotland have been
The 123-acre Zero Four site near Montrose has been bought by Crown Estate
Scotland from ISLA Developments at a cost of £3.7m.
Crown Estate Scotland said the deal forms part of its long-term plans to
invest in renewable energy and the expansion of the blue economy, or
ocean-based sustainability, to deliver wider value for Scotland.
It said 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 major benefits to the area and helping to kick
start a green economic recovery in the region.
It is thought the value of the development could reach £500m and that it
could create 2,000 jobs.
Andy Wells, director of property for Crown Estate Scotland, said: “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
“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, of 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 and clean growth strategies and positioning the
renewable energy industry at the heart of the local community.
“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 and
the whole region extremely well in terms of a solid and consistent approach
between the offshore and onshore renewables sectors, in particular.”
Historically, the site was the first operational 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 and
services, a heli-drone port and hotel, leisure & conference facilities.
Crown Estate Scotland will now work with public and private sector partners
to develop detailed plans.