WE could find out if a sports hub is a viable option for the Inverkeithing High School site by the end of the year.

But Fife Council leader David Ross is already fielding accusations that he's "downplaying" the proposal and preparing to disappoint local ambitions.

The school will close in the summer of 2026, ahead of the new £85 million replacement opening at the Fleet Grounds in Rosyth, and attention is turning to the future use of the Inverkeithing site.

Earlier this month council officers were tasked with drawing up an options appraisal for the "future development of community-use and swimming facilities for South and West Fife".

Dunfermline Press: Inverkeithing High School is due to close in 2026. What happens with the site after that is anyone's guess.Inverkeithing High School is due to close in 2026. What happens with the site after that is anyone's guess. (Image: David Wardle)

Cllr Ross said he expects it by the end of the year but he's already under pressure with Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay councillor Sarah Neal taking him to task over the similar wording in his report to the full council meeting on Thursday.

She said: "I hope the council leader will recall that the cabinet committee actually agreed that as part of a Fife-wide review there should be specific consideration given to maintaining or replacing the sports facilities in Inverkeithing.

"So is he already downplaying and trying to bury the loss of facilities in Inverkeithing?"

Cllr Ross replied: "The cabinet committee has agreed a way forward and that options appraisal will include looking at the possible replacement or refurbishment of the existing facilities.

"That was made clear at the committee."

READ MORE: Fife Council agree to the relocation of Inverkeithing High

Among some locals there is a nagging feeling that, despite assurances that the idea of a sports hub will be looked at, it could be a box-ticking exercise.

And that concern has not come out of nowhere.

Cllr David Barratt fears the possibility is not being taken seriously enough and highlighted that officers were tasked in November 2020 with investigating the "retention, refurbishment and future investment" of the community-use wing at Inverkeithing High.

Almost three years on, no report has been produced.

At the council meeting, Rosyth councillor Brian Goodall said: "It's worth noting that a town the size of Rosyth, Scotland's only garden city, doesn't have a sports and leisure facility at the moment.

"That's something that should be taken into account in the options appraisal."

Cllr Ross said the issues for Rosyth would be considered and pointed out: "The decision the council has just taken to relocate the new high school there will include a degree of community-use, sports and leisure facilities."

However the new school at the Fleet Grounds will not have a swimming pool and there are fears the pool at The Wing may be lost when the current Inverkeithing High shuts in 2026.

At the recent cabinet committee, Cllr Barratt had said: "There is a strong ambition locally that the site should become a sports hub for the area, including fit for purpose turf and artificial sports pitches and a swimming pool.

"What I'm asking for is the council to work with the community to develop proposals which match that community ambition."