Plans for a new blue economy and renewables hub in Scotland have been unveiled.

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.

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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 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, 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.

A new independent television production company has been launched in Glasgow.

Formed by independent production company Channel X, previously best known for chat shows like the Last Resort with Jonathan Ross and panel shows such as Shooting Stars, who already have offices in London and Manchester, and Glasgow-based Hopscotch Films, who were behind The Story of Film and Women Make Film.

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The two companies have joined forces to develop scripted comedy and drama projects based and created in Scotland and already have a slate of projects in development.

Hopscotch’s Carolynne Sinclair Kidd will be CCO of the company, whilst John Archer from Hopscotch and Alan Marke and Jim Reid of Channel X will be the company directors.

Ms Sinclair Kidd said: “Early in my career I produced the award winning comedy drama series High Times for STV and it was one of my favourite productions to work on. With the collaboration of the brilliant Channel X, I’d like to champion sparky, edgy, contemporary comedy like this, and help it find a home not only in Scotland but within the whole of the UK and worldwide.” 

Mr Archer said: “In these times we need a good laugh more than ever. Carolynne is one of Scotland’s great producers and Channel X are a brilliant, imaginative company whose work we’ve always admired. They are a great partnership for us.” 

Channel X’s Alan Marke and Jim Reid said: “In our view, Scotland has been underrepresented on the UK’s comedy and drama scene.

"There is a wealth of writing, performing and craft talent in the country and we would like to help turn that talent into modern, relevant and world beating narrative TV. We’re excited to be working with Carolynne and John collaboratively in order to achieve that.”

One of the UK's largest private companies has struck a $5bn (£4bn) deal to buy a wing of BP.

Ineos will pay BP in six installments until June next year for its petrochemicals business which makes a key component in polyester.

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The business employs around 1,700 staff, spread mainly across the Asia, the US, Belgium and a plant in Hull.

It means that a changing BP has met its promise to sell off $15bn (£12bn) of assets a year earlier than initially promised.

It is another step in a revamp led by the FTSE 100 listed oil giant's new chief Bernard Looney.

Mr Looney has promised to set a new course for BP, which includes tackling emissions - a potential existential crisis for the oil industry.

"This is another significant step as we steadily work to reinvent BP," the new boss said on Monday, about five months after taking charge.

"Strategically, the overlap with the rest of BP is limited and it would take considerable capital for us to grow these businesses," Mr Looney said.

"As we work to build a more focused, more integrated BP, we have other opportunities that are more aligned with our future direction. Today's agreement is another deliberate step in building a BP that can compete and succeed through the energy transition."

Ineos founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe said: "We are delighted to acquire these top-class businesses from BP, extending the Ineos position in global petrochemicals and providing great scope for expansion and integration with our existing business."

"This acquisition is a logical development of our existing petrochemicals business extending our interest in acetyls and adding a world leading aromatics business supporting the global polyester industry."

The 1,700 jobs at BP petrochemicals are expected to transfer over to Ineos, BP said.