DUNFERMLINE ATHLETIC have taken a further step forward in securing a new training base after they were named as the preferred bidder to take over Rosyth Civil Service Club.

It has been confirmed to the Press this morning that the Pars have been granted that status by the Civil Service Sports Council (CSSC), and that a period of consultation with them, and other concerned parties, will begin.

The news could also be positive for Rosyth Football Club, who have been linked with a move to the site if Athletic were to take over.

The East of Scotland League club have been training and playing matches on the astroturf pitches at the Fleet Grounds having left their previous home, Recreation Park on Admiralty Road, in 2018.

That was after Fife Council agreed to sell the land for a Lidl supermarket and, as part of the deal, the developer was to provide a replacement pitch and facilities, which was to be at the Fleet Grounds. 

However, neither supermarket nor pitch have been delivered and, in the meantime, the council identified the Fleet Grounds as the site for the new Inverkeithing High School.

Last month, at a meeting of the South West Fife area committee, nine sites - including the Civil Service Sports Club - were identified as potential new homes for Rosyth.

Area services manager, Alastair Mutch, said the club had a "strong interest" in the site, while the CSSC had appointed consultants to speak to the "six or so" interested parties, which he added had "included a conversation with Dunfermline Athletic and also Rosyth FC."

Last month also saw Dunfermline Athletic announce that a group of German investors, DAFC Fussball GmbH, would increase their initial 30 per cent shareholding by a further 45.1 per cent.

That, they said, would allow the club to "commit to the funding" of a new training ground "with greater certainty", and now have given preferred status at the Civil Service Club.

A CSSC spokesperson said: "We can confirm that Dunfermline Athletic Football Club (DAFC) has been selected as the preferred bidder for the ongoing management of the Rosyth Civil Service Club.

"We will now enter into a period of consultation with DAFC and all other concerned parties, to ensure the site brings maximum benefit to both our members and the wider community before a final decision is made. We look forward to updating the local community when we have more information to share."

A DAFC spokesperson added: "We are pleased that our application to base our training ground at the CSSC site in Rosyth has been selected as the preferred bidder.

"The site will also eventually allow us to reform our own youth academy and integrate this with our community football programmes run through the Pars Foundation.

"We recognise that the CSSC site means a lot to the local community. There are still a number of matters to be resolved but we look forward to working with CSSC to conclude an agreement that will allow the site to be operational as soon as possible."