DUNFERMLINE’S MSP has maintained that the promise to fund Fife College’s new campus has not been broken.

Shirley-Anne Somerville, who is also the minister for further and higher education, hit back in the row over the £90 million facility after accusations that West Fife had been “betrayed”.

A new campus was announced by the Scottish Government in October 2014 but there’s still no money for the project and principal Hugh Hall, who outlined his concerns in a letter to staff and students, called on ministers “to do the right thing and invest in the college”.

Mid Scotland and Fife Labour MSP Alex Rowley said: “The people of Dunfermline and the surrounding communities have been betrayed by an SNP government that made a promise to fund a new college in Dunfermline which now turns out to be an election gimmick.

"In the meantime, we are left with a college building that is not fit for purpose in 2018 and beyond.”

In March 2016, the college announced the Shepherd Offshore site as their preferred choice for the new campus and said the total cost was expected to be around £90m.

Around £70m was to come from the Scottish Government’s Non-Profit Distributing (NPD) programme and £20m from the college and Scottish Funding Council (SFC).

Mr Rowley said he was concerned the cheap option of ‘doing up’ the current campus at Halbeath will be favoured instead and added: “The college is making clear that it will cost over £30m to bring the current building up to any kind of acceptable standard, not the £4m that the SFC claim.

“We have two SNP MSPs who represent this area, both ministers in the Scottish Government, and they have failed to stand up for our area and fight for the promise that they and their party made before the last election.

“They now need to answer why that promise has been broken and what the government are going to do to ensure that what they promised in 2014 is delivered.

“We were promised a new state-of-the-art college and that is what we are demanding, nothing else will be acceptable.”

He also said Fife College was being pushed into an expensive PFI-type model by the Scottish Government which could see them partner with Fife Council for a “super campus”, with new high schools also on the site.

The college are against this funding route and Mr Rowley said: “I think the concerns they raise are very real concerns about following that course of action.”

However, Ms Somerville said: “The Scottish Government has not reneged on any promise regarding Fife College.

“The previous funding route suggested for the Dunfermline campus is no longer available due to changes in EU funding.

“The SFC is therefore working with Fife College to investigate alternative routes to take this project forward.

“I would encourage the principal to do all he can to work with those who are trying to help the college bring this to a positive conclusion. It’s deeply disappointing to see Labour politicians focus their time on making partisan attacks criticising the Scottish Government.”

Last week’s news that Forth Valley had received money for their college infuriated Dunfermline Central councillor Garry Haldane, who said: “Do we in Dunfermline come second in line to Falkirk?

"We in Dunfermline deserve better than what we are getting, which is nothing.”

Ms Somerville responded: “Falkirk campus was approved because its business case was ready.

"Unfortunately, the previous principal of Fife College was not able to bring Dunfermline’s business case to a similar conclusion at that time.”