A lasting memorial to all the babies in Fife whose ashes may not have been returned to their families will not be created at Lochore Meadows.

Kirkcaldy’s Beveridge Park and Dunfermline’s Public Park have emerged as the frontrunners to accommodate the tribute, which was promised by Fife Council in the wake of the baby ashes scandal which surfaced in 2012.

The Meedies, Riverside Park in Glenrothes and Townhill Park in Dunfermline were also among those on the shortlist, but it is understood those involved in creating the memorial consider the other two to be preferable.

Work on detailed designs will now be stepped up over the coming months, with architects expected to provide sketches of possible memorial areas most likely to feature a statue as a focal point and garden.  

Fife Council senior manager Alan Paul said the council is continuing to work with a small group of parents on how the important memorial might look – with the hope of using the outcome to engage with parents more widely.

Following revelations about shocking practices at Mortonhall Crematorium in Edinburgh, a subsequent investigation found that similar practices had been carried out in Fife where council staff at crematoria in Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy had dumped ashes in the waste.

Bereaved parents of stillborn babies and infants who died just days after birth had been wrongly told there were no cremated remains to either bury or keep, and dozens of parents across the region were awarded compensation as a result.  Fife Council apologised for the distress caused and pledged to work with parents and stakeholders on a fitting memorial to the babies – with a special working group set-up to look at locations and what the memorial should look like.