DUNFERMLINE may have a "fantastic story to tell" but ensuring it is on a par with Scotland's other small cities is the challenge facing its citizens.

That's according to MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville, who hosted a summit to discuss making the most of opportunities available to the area after it was awarded city status.

She says that an appetite for change remains among residents, business owners, and politicians, but that there had been concerns that momentum in promoting Dunfermline was at risk of being lost.

Ms Somerville told the Press: "There was obviously huge excitement when it was announced and I think people, understandably, expected the council then to bring people together to get their views about how we can make the most out of this.

"I was certainly picking up a bit of concern that nothing like that had happened so I was very pleased to be able to hold the event and have council officials and councillors along to speak to what had happened there so far in terms of them promoting the city bid.

"It was obviously a really important opportunity for people right across Dunfermline public life to have their first real chance to speak to the council about what they wanted out of city status."

Politicians, councillors, council officers, local business owners, and other residents came together at the City Hotel to discuss what could be done to improve tourism and ensure that people who live in Dunfermline are supported.

A further city conference has now been planned for June this year by Fife Council.

Ms Somerville added: "There was a huge amount of enthusiasm in the room, a huge amount of ideas coming from it, and I am very pleased that the council has now brought forward proposals for a conference which I understand is now going to be in June so we can get some more details.

"You see lots of opportunities that other small cities in particular have taken once they've got city status.

"One of the aspects that came across really loud and clear was about the health and wellbeing of the residents, so the proposal to be a wellbeing city was one that garnered quite a lot of enthusiasm while we were there."

There could also be scope for more festivals and events, as well as work to enhance the high street and well-loved attractions such as Pittencrieff Park.

"I think there's a number of quick wins that we could have in Dunfermline that don't require big levels of investment," the SNP politician continued.

"While there are opportunities in the medium to long term that we can see larger scale developments and investment that might require a fair amount of money we should never forget that Dunfermline has already got a fantastic story to tell if we can make the most out of that by all working together.

"I am sure the council has been busy planning and having meetings but there was a real danger of losing a bit of momentum and enthusiasm that had been built up."

Fife Council leader David Ross said the authority has showcased investment opportunities in Dunfermline at Scottish Cities Week and will continue to work towards an inclusive city plan through the local community plan process.

He commented: "It was good to be able to further engage with key stakeholders at the recent summit.

"Fife Council has worked closely with community, business and civic stakeholders in the development of Dunfermline’s bid for city status, and through these strong links have worked with partners over the last year to bring forward a range of plans for the city.

"Fife Council’s administration and the City of Dunfermline Area Committee are working closely on the development of activity across the short, medium and long term"

Douglas Chapman, MP for Dunfermline and West Fife, said that Dunfermline isn't "starting from ground zero" and that the new Learning Campus at Halbeath and Rosyth's Green Freeport will offer advantages over similar sized cities in Scotland.

He said: "The big question is how do we capitalise on all these advantages for the benefit of our citizens.

"While a lot of discussion focused on business and growing prosperity, issues such as heritage, culture, health and wellbeing also were also raised as being important and were key to a balanced programme of what we could achieve.

"My own take on City status is that it’s a fantastic opportunity to be ambitious and to pull a lot of projects and new ideas together.

"The challenge will be making sure everyone has a chance to have a say in our direction of travel and recognise that it’s not for the council to dictate how we move forward, but it’s for the people who live, work and play here to set a positive tone for the future."