The University, which has owned the property for the last two years, claims that investment could create 100 jobs and “ward off the effects of rapidly rising external energy prices.” St Andrews also hopes to revitalise the area and attract new industry to Fife.
The University has stated that it intends to move ahead with plans to establish a Green Energy Centre and a Knowledge Exchange Centre for spin-out companies, new business and prototype testing. The centre will generate and distribute energy, in the form of heat and electricity.
Some of the energy will be used to power businesses whilst the rest will be pumped as hot water to St Andrews where it will heat and cool buildings and student residences.
The Knowledge Exchange Centre aims to provide “missing link” facilities which would allow discoveries made in university labs to be translated to working prototypes.
The University also stated that it is in discussions with a brewing company which hopes to establish a brewery at Guardbridge. The brewery would create in itself up 20 jobs by 2014.
Work is expected to begin on site in 2013 with the Centres operational by 2014.
University Quaestor and Factor Derek Watson said: “Guardbridge represents a major strategic step for the University. We are committed wherever possible to becoming carbon neutral and this large industrial site lends itself to the creation of a range of renewable energies which are vital to our efforts to remain one of Europe’s leading research institutions.
“There is also an ideal opportunity to establish a Knowledge Exchange Centre for spin-out, local companies seeking affordable accommodation and for prototype testing.
“We believe the diverse range of potential uses at Guardbridge has the capacity to re-establish this huge site as a key economic centre in Fife.
“It has taken us longer than we originally anticipated to prepare the groundwork for site development and we are grateful for the patience and encouragement given to us by the local community over the last 18 months.
“We will consult closely with the community as our plans take shape.”