SCOTLAND'S very first 5G hub is to be built in Alloa, serving the wider Forth Valley.

As part of a programme to drive economic growth, fifth generation telecommunications technology is to be deployed in the Wee County.

A number of hubs are to be created across the country, starting in Clackmannanshire.

Council leader Ellen Forson said: "This is great news for Alloa.

"The drive to create a net zero regional economy through the network of 5G Connect Hubs will stand as a global exemplar.

"The hubs will focus on the delivery of digital platforms that support job creation and skills programmes and we are delighted to see that the first project for the Forth Valley hub at Alloa will be built on a partnership between BT and Scotland's International Environment Centre (SIEC) which is part of the University of Stirling.

"We look forward to continuing our positive working partnership with Stirling University on SIEC."

Scotland 5G Centre (S5GC) is behind the initiative with its S5GConnect Programme, funded by the government.

Paul Coffey, CEO at S5GC, added: "The Forth Valley Hub will initially focus on the delivery of digital platforms that support job creation, skills programmes, and innovation support for SME and R&D activities.

"Its first project will aim to develop a green data recovery platform, which will create a digital twin to support Scotland's net zero economy.

"5G deployment has commenced, but the technology is still nascent – and some of the new use cases are still a few years away.

"The S5GConnect Hubs will play a key role in accelerating that process and making the potential of 5G a reality.

"They will think nationally, but act locally, bringing together global and national priorities with local expertise through the reach of existing regional centres and organisations."

Plans call for nine additional hubs across Scotland, with sites already being considered.

These could be rolled out over the course of the next two years.

Paul Wheelhouse, connectivity minister, added: "The 5G revolution presents a significant opportunity for us in the years ahead and seizing such opportunities is particularly important as we look to build the economic recovery following the lockdown required to suppress the Covid-19 virus.

"A study conducted by Deloitte in 2019 found that harnessing enhanced 4G and 5G connectivity could increase Scotland's GDP by more than £17billion by 2035."