A MAJOR stage in the development of a Central Fife Community Rail Partnership will take place on Thursday May 25.

The Central Fife Crime Prevention and Community Safety Panel has become involved in the project through ScotRail and at the panel's annual general meeting a spokesperson for the rail company will explain how it will work.

On Thursday the panel heard that the project would see £50,000 made available over a three year period for improvements around the area's three railway stations at Cowdenbeath, Lochgelly and Cardenden.

The Panel is prepared to spearhead the Central Fife Community Rail Partnership and is hoping that community councils in each of Cowdenbeath, Crossgates, Hill of Beath, Lumphinnans, Kelty, Benarty, Lochgelly and Cardenden will consider joining it.

The panel has invited representatives of Benarty, Cowdenbeath, Cardenden, Lochgelly, Lumphinnans, Kelty, Crossgates and Hill of Beath community councils to attend the meeting and hear what the ScotRail contributor says about the project as each of these communities has people who use the stations.

Panel vice-chairman, Colin Bird told members: "I was at an event there were Partnership groups from Ayrshire, the Borders and the Lothians who had ideas in place.

"These varied from special electronic boards linking train and bus services through to facilities for letting rail passengers know where certain services were available in communities immediately they got off trains.

"We already have a few community safety features that we feel can be introduced to Cowdenbeath, Lochgelly and Cardenden stations but we would like different sections of the community to come on board and put forward their ideas on what they would like to see done to improve the stations which provide a rail link for the communities of the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area.

"To move things forward we will be inviting the community councils to be represented at our annual meeting on May 25at which the nuts and bolts of the Partnership will be explained by a representative from ScotRail.

"We would welcome anyone who is interested in putting forward ideas to get in touch with us via Cowdenbeath Police Station and any individual or community group would be welcomed to come along that night." The meeting starts at 7pm.

He added: "It is not about the station environments but the surrounds of these facilities and each year we will have £17,000 to invest in our three stations.

"It is an exciting project and we hope that the public will get involved to put forward ideas which they may have which could bring better facilities to our stations."

The meeting starts at 7pm at Cowdenbeath Police Station on the 25th and members of the public would be welcome to attend.