ABBOT HOUSE'S £530,000 relaunch will have to be approved before we discover which one of "Scotland's best chefs" is going to head up its new restaurant.

Mystery surrounds the identity of the person chosen to bring fine dining to Dunfermline's oldest building with a deal ready to be signed as soon as Fife Council agree the plans.

Carnegie Dunfermline Trust, the owners of Abbot House, hope it could be ready in the summer after confirming last month that a top restaurant was an “exciting new addition” that would prove a "real attraction for the heritage area".

Located on the first floor, with a new bar and welcome area, it will be “headed up by one of Scotland’s best chefs” and have 48 covers with a further four at the sommelier's table.

Listed building consent and planning permission is being sought for a change of use for the Abbot Street building which will also include a cafe, bakery, shop and possibly a tourist information centre, as well as a new entrance, stair and lift.

A planning statement said: "The proposals can turn the much-loved building back to a place of public cultural enjoyment.

"With new facilities and a high-quality interior, Abbot House can serve as a centre for numerous types of special gatherings and celebrations."

A category A-listed townhouse, Abbot House dates back to the 16th century and was one of the few buildings left standing after the Great Fire of Dunfermline in 1624.

It was last used as a heritage centre but closed due to financial problems in August 2015.

Volunteers have kept the gardens in bloom and the plans include managed public access to the most historic features, including the mural and Gothic window on the first floor.

If approved, the building to the west of Abbot House, previously used as an education centre, toilet block and brew house, will become a bakery serving the café and restaurant.

The cafe, which will be able to seat 50 people inside with outdoor seating in the gardens, and information centre will be on the ground floor.

The restaurant will be a floor above with event space and private offices on the second and third floors.

The plan is to open to the public seven days a week with the exception of the restaurant, which will be closed on a Monday.

The bakery will function from around 4am and open to the public from 8am to 3pm.

A charity has been established to help repair and maintain the old pink hoose and it's possible it will re-open in phases.

The statement added: "The SCIO (Abbot House charity) will, in the first instance, be funded by grants for the renovation of the property.

"Thereafter, it will primarily be funded by profits gifted from a wholly-owned trading subsidiary that operates within the building.

"The aim of the proposals are to bring about the conservation, long-term care and management of the building.

"The proposed change of use aims to retain Abbot House's built heritage and cultural interest through increased access and community use."