THE people of Inverkeithing have "no faith" that Fife Council will keep their promise and deliver a sports hub on the high school site.

That's according to Councillor David Barratt who said locals were furious to discover that one of the options for new facilities, which could cost £20 million, is not in the town.

He said that reneges on a previous commitment to invest at the site, deliver much-needed sports facilities and help "counteract" the impacts that will be felt in Inverkeithing when the new high school opens in Rosyth in 2026.

At the cabinet committee meeting he said: "To see that one of the options is to build further facilities outwith Inverkeithing, that would inevitably lead to the closure of the swimming pool in the town, there was, to put it mildly, anger in Inverkeithing at the sight of that.

Dunfermline Press: SNP councillor for Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay, David Barratt. SNP councillor for Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay, David Barratt. (Image: Fife Council)

"I could quote a whole load of Facebook comments - such as 'It was never going to stay open' and 'The site will be filled with houses in five years time' - but they get a bit sweary to be honest.

"The community fundamentally has no faith in the council on this and I would like us, hopefully with the amendment I have, to prove them wrong and that the council is taking this seriously."

There will be consultation on six options for sports and community-use facilities in South and West Fife.

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Three relate to the existing Inverkeithing High site - retention and refurbishment of The Wing (including pool, community facilities, grass and synthetic pitches); a new pool with community facilities; or a new stand-alone pool.

The other three options are a new pool and community facilities, or just a stand-alone pool, at another unnamed site in Inverkeithing; or a new pool at the new high school at the Fleet Grounds in Rosyth.

Paul Vaughan, head of communities and neighbourhoods service at the council, said that a new pool at the Fleet Grounds school was a "reasonable option to explore further" and that a report with full costings would be brought back later this year.

Cllr Barratt said there should be wider engagement with the community and existing users, including Inverkeithing United.

He added that the football club "have ambitions of potentially taking a greater role in the management of this site", with the possibility that they could apply for external funding and develop the facilities further.

Dunfermline Press: Fife Council leader, Labour councillor David Ross.Fife Council leader, Labour councillor David Ross. (Image: Fife Council)

Council leader David Ross said: "I'm happy we've got a full range of options.

"Some need to be developed and looked at further but it's important we do due diligence on this as we're talking about investing around £20m and we haven't yet identified any funding, or significant funding, towards this."

Cllr Barratt's amendment said there should be a "presumption in favour of investment into the existing high school site in Inverkeithing" and called for the Fleet Grounds option to be removed.

He said: "The decisions taken to move the high school to Rosyth were taken in the context that it would have an impact on Inverkeithing and that investment should follow into the existing site to counteract some of the impacts that would have, including on the town centre."

He added that the money wasn't there to build a pool at every school and stated: "If we're going to build a new pool and invest in new facilities it makes perfect sense to do that, consistent with the decision made in 2020, to do that at the existing site and meet the community ambitions of a sports hub that would serve all of West Fife."

Cllr John Beare accused Cllr Ross of going back on a previous "agreement" to invest in Inverkeithing.

However the council leader hit back, pointing out that the committee - one which Cllr Beare was part of - agreed to look into options for sporting and community-use provision across South and West Fife, including the school site.

The amendment was defeated by 13 votes to 9.