INVERKEITHING will lose its high school but it could gain a new sports hub on the same site.

That's the hope of local councillor David Barratt, who is banking on Fife Council to match ambitions for the area with hard cash.

The town lost the battle to keep the high school in Inverkeithing – a £70 million replacement will be built in Rosyth – and he's keen that the site isn't forgotten about.

Cllr Barratt believes there'll be money set aside in the council's budget plans and said: "My own view is it could be a really ambitious community sports hub.

"We should be maintaining all the existing pitches and facilities we have there and consider how we expand it.

"There's a real lack of youth provision in the area so this is an opportunity, with the school going, to make something of it and meet other needs too.

"At this stage, there should be no limits on what's possible as it's an enormous site and has so much potential."

He continued: "There's good football provision with the pitches we have but could we expand to have more indoor sports facilities?

"There are multiple local football clubs that could make it their permanent home and I know there's a call from tennis and hockey for facilities that are not being met at the moment.

"As a minimum, we should be maintaining the pool on site, whether there's the chance to do more will come down to the finances and what people want.

"There are a lot of different community groups in the town that would benefit and then there are people not represented by existing groups, teenagers and young adults who could be helped too."

While the school will be vacated, there is a concerted campaign to keep The Wing, the "highly-prized" community-use facilities at the school.

As well as sports and fitness, including swimming lessons, it's used for creative arts, guitar lessons, youth clubs and adult evening classes.

Cllr Barratt said: "Nothing's been decided yet. There was a political agreement tagged onto the decision in November about where the new school will be sited, that community use should be maintained and there should be further investment in the site.

"I've been working since then to try and convert that political agreement into a financial commitment from the council and I'm hopeful that a decent amount will be allocated in the budget in two weeks' time.

"The next step would be to have a public consultation to ask the residents of Inverkeithing and the surrounding area what they would like to have on the site.

"There is the opportunity to do a lot more."

Asked if a sports hub would compensate Inverkeithing for the loss of the school, he replied: "It would go some way to doing that.

"It's always going to be a blow to the town to lose the school, I don't think that will ever be forgotten, but this is a chance to move forward and do something with the site.

"We have to focus on at least keeping what's here and expanding on it."

A similar scenario is looming in Dunfermline with replacement high schools for St Columba's and Woodmill to be built at Halbeath.

The sites they leave behind, either side of Woodmill Road, are considerable and while it's not yet known what is planned, locals will no doubt be looking for community benefit.

Cllr Barratt, who is also the convener of the council's assets and property services sub-committee, said: "There needs to be a public consultation on the future of those sites too and something that will deliver what they want.

"The last thing we want is for any of those sites to become derelict.

"Too often in the past, a school or other building has been vacated by the council and allowed to go to rack and ruin, and burn down in some cases.

"We need to make sure that doesn't happen here.

"Certainly in the case of Inverkeithing High, we've been pushing for the future of the site to be confirmed before it's vacated. That should happen in Dunfermline too."