A NEW charity dedicated to making Dunfermline a better place to live say they've got popular support for a community cinema in the town centre.

The Friends of Dunfermline have now become the Dunfermline Regeneration Trust and have asked the public about key improvement projects.

The shortlist includes a community cinema, a wellbeing centre and a new skatepark – all of which were mentioned in the Design Dunfermline event last year, see story on page 23.

The trust gained charitable status last week and are taking the ideas forward, launching an online survey last Friday and a roadshow the following day at the Fresh Air Festival.

And a spokesperson said: "We are very excited to be getting a hugely positive response to all our project ideas.

"The cinema is the most popular choice; both at the event and from almost 250 survey responses.

"About 90 per cent of the respondents think an independent cinema linked to community arts and music therapy projects would enhance the town centre, and they would use it."

It's envisaged that a wellbeing centre would bring together a programme for yoga, mindfulness and qualified therapists, with services like physiotherapy, acupuncture and reiki, and offer a range of classes for all age groups and abilities.

Around 70 per cent of those surveyed backed the idea while 60 per cent liked the new skatepark project, which is led by Hamish Ward, of Crossford.

Dunfermline councillor Garry Haldane said: "The cinema is a very worthwhile initiative and it would attract a whole new section of our community, especially when the Odeon is charging exorbitant prices for entry."

And Dunfermline and West Fife MP Douglas Chapman added: "I am delighted that there is so much interest in the idea of a community cinema and that the Dunfermline Regeneration Trust are considering this."

Eventual project selection will be based on community support, the ability to get funding and long-term sustainability. The public consultation will continue throughout June.

Dunfermline MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville said: "There’s been an excellent response rate to their survey looking at potential improvement projects, such as opening a new independent cinema in the town.

“I saw for myself how busy their stall was at the festival. It’s clear that there is a real local appetite for these exciting proposals.”

The Friends of Dunfermline began life as the Friends of Pilmuir Works in 2016, when a group of local people aired their concerns about the empty and rundown buildings.

The works have since been bought and are being redeveloped into flats and shops, with the group widening their focus to try to find solutions for other vacant and derelict properties in the town.

Their mission is to "develop the architectural and built heritage of Dunfermline, delivering arts, culture and wellbeing initiatives, and creating a vibrant heart where the community flourishes".

Charitable status should make it easier to get funding for community-led regeneration projects and the trust has 20 members and five trustees – Grant Buttars, Jean Ferguson, Fiona Simpson, Colin Greenslade and Richard Lawrence.