Work to create new bike trails in Lochore Meadows Country Park will mark the beginning of a £1.8 million investment.

A new visitor centre – which received planning permission last week – golf clubhouse and pavilion will also be built as part of a major overhaul.

Councillor Mark Hood, chair of the Cowdenbeath area committee and Fife Sports Partnership, visited the park to see where the new bike trails will be constructed.

He said: “The bike trails should be completed and ready for people to enjoy by the end of March.

"The current trails are only accessible by experienced mountain bikers but this improvement means that the council’s outdoor education team will be able to attract more specialist groups, such as vulnerable groups from schools, community learning programmes and the local community.

"We’re set to have a fantastic network of trails that will be a real asset to Lochore Meadows.

"This work builds on the success of one of Scotland’s biggest bike clubs, the Meedies Bike Club, and is testament to the strong partnership working they have with the outdoor education centre in the park.”

The bike trail project received £69,000 from the Scottish Government's Legacy 2014 Active Places Fund.

The same fund has pledged £83,000 for the golf clubhouse.

Cllr Hood added: “As one of Scotland’s top free visitor attractions and one of the most visited attractions in Fife, it’s great to see this investment being delivered for Lochore Meadows Country Park.

"Collectively these projects will improve the visitor experience and deliver even more sporting opportunities at our much loved ‘Meedies’!”

The path is also clear for the building of the new visitor centre, to be named after former Benarty councillor Willie Clarke, after Fife Council granted planning permission for the demolition of the existing centre.

It was built in 1978, an extension was added 10 years later, but is now considered out of date and "not fulfilling its function as a major tourist attraction for Lochore".

A planning statement on behalf of Fife Council and the operators, the Fife Coast and Countryside Trust, said: "The new park centre will provide an opportunity to create a modern designed facility that will directly inter-relate with the existing facilities, whilst generating tangible economic opportunities for Lochore Meadows Country Park, attracting some 500,000 visitors per annum."

While planning approval has been given, the Times reported last week that the consultation process and design of the new centre has come in for criticism.