THE Levelling Up Fund could pave the way for around £19.2 million of investment in Dunfermline and West Fife – including a new city centre square.

If successful, there will be £9.4m for city centre regeneration, including work at the gap site on High Street, £3.95m to bring St Margaret's House back into productive use and £5.8m to upgrade the Friary Building in Inverkeithing.

And there's also an application in to pay for three bridge projects, costing £11.25m, in Dunfermline.

Five bids – one transport and four constituency – were submitted officially by Fife Council to the UK Government's £4.8 billion pot, which aims to help improve infrastructure in towns and cities, on August 2.

The cabinet committee was told last week that, in total, the local authority applied for £89.2m from the fund with their investment plans totalling £125.3m.

Ken Gourlay, executive director for enterprise and environment, said: "The main challenge in delivering the bids will be resources to deliver them within the demanding timetable set by the UK Government.

"This cannot be quantified or mobilised until we know how many bids are successful, if any."

Scotland's share of the £4.8 billion pot is a minimum of £800m and only local authorities can apply.

The main themes are regenerating town centres and high streets, upgrading local transport and investing in cultural and heritage assets.

The fund will run until March 2025, the money must be spent by then, and the number of bids depends on how many MPs the local authority area has.

Fife has four and is also allowed a bid for transport. Inflation of 15 per cent and contingency of five per cent have been included in each bid.

Decisions are likely to be announced around the time of the UK Government's Autumn Statement.

Mr Gourlay's report added: "The fund is highly competitive and there is no guarantee of funding for the bids and their projects."

For the Dunfermline and West Fife bid, they're seeking £17.7m from the Levelling Up Fund.

With council cash and other funding, the total investment would be £19.2m.

That would pay for the town centre square – it will now be city centre – at the High Street gap site which would be able to host farmers' markets, music performances, events and exhibitions.

The council plans, outlined last year, include a grassed terrace area, more planting and seating, a community orchard, a gateway feature, a community hub with public toilets. and an information point.

They had hoped to start this summer but this has been delayed due to funding and other issues.

Fife's transportation bid is for improvements amounting to £22.9m.

In Dunfermline, that would include £11.25m for a culvert replacement at Lyne Burn Bridge, a new road bridge over the Fife Circle railway line at Grange Road and bridge expansion works at Kingseat (Whitefield).

The Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath bid has three projects, one of which is £2.17m to regenerate Cowdenbeath Town House.

There are also bids for Glenrothes and Central Fife, and North East Fife.

Council leader David Ross didn't sound overly-optimistic and said: "I don't think any of us are terribly keen on how this is being done. Hopefully, we will get something out of it."