THERE is hope that former coalfields in Fife will benefit from a new inquiry aimed at Levelling Up areas with a mining past.

Douglas Chapman, MP for Dunfermline and West Fife, says that the investigation launched by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coalfield Communities at Westminster will look at the next steps for towns and villages still struggling with "the long-term legacy of a lost industry" across the UK.

He said: "This inquiry comes at a critical time for our coalfield communities dealing with the cost of living and energy crises post-pandemic and the long-term legacy of a lost industry with areas still lagging far behind on prosperity and well-being indicators as a result."

"I want to ensure that communities are far better served by the UK Government’s distribution of Levelling Up funds, and that liaison with groups such as the Coalfields Regeneration Trust as well as our own government at Holyrood and local authorities ensures that these funds are targeted to properly benefit these communities and future generations to come," he continued.

It will look into how more liaison and collaboration with communities, the devolved government and key stakeholders could be used to re-direct funds to places they are most needed.

Mr Chapman added: "The inquiry hopes to be complete by Spring next year and is calling for written submissions from coalfield communities to provide data and information to influence the next steps of Levelling Up so that these funds are allocated fairly and where there is greatest need.

"I will be writing shortly to coalfield communities with details on submission dates."