DUNFERMLINE and West Fife has lost out after a bid for almost £29 million of levelling up money was unsuccessful.

But there's a chance it could still get cash – earmarked for city-centre regeneration, including a square at the High Street gap site, as well as restoring St Margaret's House and the Friary in Inverkeithing and three bridge projects – in the next round of funding.

Hopes were dashed last Thursday when the UK Government announced who was getting money from the £4.8 billion levelling up pot, with nothing for Dunfermline and West Fife.

Dunfermline North councillor Gordon Pryde said: "It's certainly a big blow.

"We had great plans for that money; on the back of Dunfermline being granted city status, we wanted to really improve the city centre.

"We weren't taking anything for granted but the submission was well received and it was more than a hope we would be getting the money.

"It's incredibly disappointing. I'm sure the officers will be gutted too."

The much-delayed announcement of second-round funding last week saw £2.1 billion of levelling up money handed out to more than 100 projects across the UK.

In Scotland, 10 projects shared £177m.

Fife Council received £19.4m out of the £89.2m they applied for.

It's for the two projects in the Glenrothes and Central Fife bid – £5m to improve Riverside Park in Glenrothes and £14.4m for 35km of paths in Levenmouth.

Cllr Pryde said: "The UK Government gave out £2.1 billion and just £177m of it is coming to Scotland which just seems wholly inadequate if you're talking about levelling up."

Of the £4.8bn in the UK Levelling Fund, Scotland is supposed to get a minimum of £800m.

There was £1.7bn handed out in round one, £2.1bn has now been allocated in round two, which still leaves £1bn to be distributed in round three.

So far, projects north of the border have received just short of £350m so a fair chunk of the remaining funds should be coming here, raising the possibility that West Fife could still benefit.

Fife Council leader Councillor David Ross said: "We welcome the news that Fife will receive £19.4m from the UK Government’s Levelling Up funding.

"The UK Government has indicated it will release details of a future round in due course and we will look to submit applications for areas that weren't successful this time, including in Dunfermline."

The Press asked the UK Government for details on the deadline for bids and when the funding would be announced but they did not respond.

Only local authorities can apply for levelling up funds and the number of bids depends on how many MPs the local authority area has.

Fife has four, one bid each was put in for Dunfermline and West Fife, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, Glenrothes and Central Fife and North East Fife, and it is also allowed a bid for transport.

The Dunfermline and West Fife bid included £9.4m for city-centre regeneration, including work at the gap site on High Street, £3.95m to bring St Margaret House back into productive use and £5.8m to upgrade the Friary in Inverkeithing.

The transport bid of £22.9m included £11.25m for three projects in Dunfermline, 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.

Ronnie Collins, chair of the West Fife Villages Forum, said communities weren't given a say in the bid process or the chance to promote local projects in need of money.

He said: "There's been a real lack of consultation with people at grassroots level. The big driver here would have been re-opening the railway link between Dunfermline and Kincardine.

"That has massive potential but was it even discussed? We don't know because local communities have been excluded.

"If they have to re-submit bids for the next round of funding they should be asking our opinions."