DUNFERMLINE could be awarded city status by the Queen next year as part of Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

A competition has been launched to mark the 70th anniversary of her ascent to the throne and Fife Council is preparing to make a case for the Auld Grey Toun.

It will be judged on aspects such as civic pride, heritage and innovation, the deadline for applications is December 8 and the announcement expected in April 2022.

Councillor Helen Law, convener of the City of Dunfermline area committee, told the Press: "It would be a great achievement for Dunfermline if we were to get it. There will be others competing but hopefully we'll have enough to win.

"The opportunity to apply for city status only comes round every so often, usually linked to the Queen's anniversary celebrations, so the last competition was in 2011 ahead of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

"Perth was successful at that time and now it's the Platinum Jubilee the opportunity is there again and Dunfermline is putting a bid together just now."

It certainly has history on its side; Dunfermline was the capital of Scotland for around 400 years, from the mid-11th century and the time of King Malcolm and Queen Margaret, until 1437 when the title passed to Edinburgh.

It held royal status and is the final resting place of kings and queens, including Robert the Bruce, and boasts ancient sites such as Dunfermline Abbey and the Palace ruins, both of which are the best part of 1,000-years-old.

Dunfermline is also the home town of the great philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie, once the richest man in the world who left Pittencrieff Park to the people, but the bid won't just dwell on past glories.

Cllr Law said: "There's great history, heritage and culture but Dunfermline is also the fastest-growing town in Europe with all the housing development so we've got a lot going for us.

"Work is about to start on the £200 million education campus, with new high schools and a new college, so there's a lot of enthusiasm about what we can put in our application.

"There's a consultation about the gap site, applications in for major funding, the Alhambra Theatre is about to celebrate its centenary, the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust have ambitious proposals about how to improve the Glen, we've come through a terrible time with the pandemic but there's a lot of positivity for Dunfermline."

She continued: "There is civic pride in being declared a city but I understand there's also funding available that's only available to cities, so that's two major benefits, and it would be confirmation that we're moving forward.

"People always debate about whether Dunfermline is a city or a town.

"We have the City Chambers and the City of Dunfermline area committee but there are also signs for the town centre so it is a little confusing.

"We don't have modern city status, we have ancient city status, the same as Perth had. They had to apply to get the modern-day definition of a city so that's what we're doing.

"Hopefully, we'll be successful and it'll be official."

Elizabeth II acceded to the throne on February 6, 1952, when she was 25.

To mark the 70th anniversary, there will be a Platinum Jubilee Weekend, and an extended bank holiday, from Thursday, June 2 to Sunday, June 5.

And the UK Government announced a new civic honours competition to celebrate the occasion.

It's the first opportunity in 10 years for towns to 'win' city status.

Councils across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be able to apply and make a case for why their area deserves the accolade.

Back in 2012, to mark Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, Perth, Chelmsford, Armagh and St Asaph, one town from each of the four countries, received city status.

Fife Council's community manager, Andrew Gallacher, confirmed that the council were keen to seek city status for Dunfermline and work is on the go to take this forward.

He added: "This would be a great boost for our beautiful area, bringing with it a host of new opportunities and a sense of civic pride in Dunfermline."