FIFE Council has been given the go-ahead to add a public space behind a new rock climbing centre in Lochgelly.

The council applied for planning permission last month to begin construction on a public square at the back of the new Regional Climbing and Bouldering Centre, based at the former St Andrew’s Church.

Council chiefs are now working with Fife Historic Buildings Trust and Rockgelly as the church, once redeveloped, will be leased to the latter.

It is hoped that the church conversion is completed by the end of March with Rockgelly hoping to start trading by the autumn.

Andy MacLellan, community projects team manager, told the Times: “We’ve had the go-ahead from planning to add a small public square behind the new Fife Regional Climbing and Bouldering Centre, which will be housed in the former St Andrews Church in Lochgelly town centre.

“The square will be landscaped and will provide a new pedestrian route through the town.

“We're working with Fife Historic Buildings Trust, who are managing the redevelopment of the old church building, and Rockgelly, a social enterprise company.

“Once the conversion of the church is complete, it will be leased to Rockgelly who will fit it out with bespoke climbing and bouldering walls, which will be used by climbers from the local area and further afield.

“They also want to host professional competitions. It's a really exciting new development for Lochgelly.

“The plan is to have the conversion completed by the end of March, though that could be affected by the current Covid-19 restrictions. We’ll then hand over the building to Rockgelly who want to be open by the autumn.”