PLANS to turn a Cultybraggan nuclear bunker into a digital safe house have been welcomed by Roseanna Cunningham MSP.

Attending a meeting of the Comrie Development Trust Funders at the Royal Hotel last week, she praised the economic benefits the data centre would bring to the Shakey Town.

The meeting detailed expected positives for local businesses and improved broadband speeds for the area.

It is hoped the leap in technology will boost local businesses that have been held back by poor internet coverage.

Alan Caldwell, Chair of the Trust's Cultybraggan Working Group said the centre will: "bring high broadband speeds to the community and the camp equivalent to that of a major city." The joint venture with GCI Telecom Group will bring the first high security data centre with support services into Scotland. The shelter at the former prisoner-of-war camp will be used to store confidential computer files.

After hearing presentations about the plans, Roseanna said: "These are very encouraging plans for an innovative and appropriate use for what is a pretty specialised space.

"The data store will provide a service that will be of benefit to a wide range of businesses and there will be a knock on effect for the whole of Comrie with improved broadband speeds.� "At a stroke the data store will bring more benefit to the local community and to wider society than the unused white elephant of a nuclear bunker ever did." Comrie resident Annabelle Ewing MSP has had a long involvement with CDT, she said: "It is very exciting to see these plans approaching fruition.� There have been a number of suggestions and approaches regarding what could be done with the bunker but I think this really is the way forward.

"It is brilliant to see economic benefit coming out of what was a disused, unloved remnant of the Cold War." Alan said: "This is an exciting project and potentially a defining moment for the community plan for Cultybraggan Camp." And Wayne Martin, chairman of GCI Com Group added: "This venture will bring Comrie and the Camp into the national spotlight for a best in breed hosting and disaster recovery centre, along with the camp benefitting from access to high speed data only really available in key cities within the UK". "I am very excited by the prospect of working closely with such an entrepreneurial community." The board have set out a rough timescale of 18 - 24 months for the data centre to become operational and said the first step is to make the building watertight again following years of lying dormant.