Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson has welcomed the announcement that the Scottish Government will not allow any fracking to take place in Scotland.

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse confirmed on Thursday that no licences will be issued for unconventional oil and gas developments north of the Border.

The Scottish Government’s final policy position was announced after a comprehensive period of evidence gathering and consultation, including environmental and business assessments.

Mr Matheson said: “I fully support this decision that no fracking will be allowed in Scotland. This news will be widely welcomed across Falkirk district, where there has been considerable concern among residents about the potential impact of proposed fracking activities in the local area.

“I’m delighted that the Scottish Government has put the interests of our communities and the environment first with a policy that will also help to maintain Scotland’s reputation as a global leader in the fight against climate change.

“By contrast, the Tories are intent on fracking beneath people’s homes in England, ignoring significant public opposition and showing no concern for the potential impact on residents’ health or the environment.

“This finalised policy shows the SNP is serious about meeting Scotland’s ambitious climate change targets and building a better, greener country for the next generation.

“It’s an important decision in our journey towards the decarbonisation of our economy – an energy transition that, while challenging, has the potential to bring significant economic opportunities to businesses in Falkirk district and across Scotland.”