Proposed Fife eco-therapy operations expanded
National Pride (St Ninians) Ltd has expanded its proposed development at St Ninians and Loch Fitty in Fife, with the purchase of Thornton Wood from Hargreaves Land Ltd.
The organisation proposes to repurpose and rejuvenate the former St Ninians open cast mine site to deliver an Eco-Therapy Wellness and Leisure Park. The original site of 376 hectares (930 acres) was purchased from Hargreaves Land earlier this year and the purchase of Thornton Wood adds a further 18.84 hectares (46.55 acres) to the already huge land area.
Located next to junction 4 of the M90, near the villages and communities of Kelty and Kingseat, the combined 976-acre site will aim to promote health and wellness in mind and body, rejuvenation of spirit and mental resilience whilst at the same time delivering a leisure, entertainment and tourism destination.
Early concept proposals include accommodation units, a wellness spa complex on Loch Fitty, a technology park amongst areas set aside for guest entertainment. Buildings of innovative design, sensitively blended amongst landscaped bio-diverse ecology sanctuaries, will use the existing landscape contours to minimise any impact on existing wildlife in the development’s construction.
New observation areas on the former Fife Earth Project landform structures, created by renowned artist Charles Jencks, and known locally as the ‘walnut whips’, will provide guests with remarkable views over the stunning landscape. Use of renewable energy technology will be sympathetic to the natural environment and is part of National Pride’s commitment to the climate emergency.
National Pride will incorporate the aims of the Fife Council Strategic Plan, and at the same time proving that rejuvenation of redundant land can be environmentally friendly and kind to the planet.
The development’s aim is to bring considerable benefits to the local community including creating employment opportunities and supporting local businesses. There is a commitment to reinvest 10% of National Pride’s net profits into community projects.
National Pride acted as principal sponsors of the 2021 Scottish Coal Carrying Championships, which took place in Kelty in August, and was an amazing success. This is one of only two Coal Races in the world and a tremendous community event which it was proud to support and will continue to do so.
Irene Bisset from National Pride (St Ninians) Ltd said: “We are excited to add Thornton Wood to our portfolio as it enables the full potential of the area to be realised. It also greatly enhances the potential of the wider St Ninians development project.
“Our plans are always under review and are maturing to deliver a project that is beneficial to the area in terms of employment and increasing the local community’s economic strength.”
Andy Whitlock, technical director, added: “Our latest acquisition expands access to the B914 and Junction 4 of the M90, addressing potential local traffic management issues which would otherwise be problematic to a development project of this size.
“It also allows refinement of the overall project plan allowing more of nature to be incorporated between the proposed built areas to realise a carbon zero plus eco-friendly development.”
Phil Rayson, regional director of Hargreaves Land, the previous owner, said: “We are delighted to help facilitate the transfer of Thornton Wood to National Pride (St Ninians) Ltd and assist them in their delivery of a fantastic tourism and leisure development which will produce significant benefits to both local and wider communities in Fife.”