THERE'S little point in Fife applying for millions of pounds from the UK Government's Levelling Up Fund, a councillor has admitted.

While there's still £1 billion to be handed out, with a significant amount promised to Scotland, the Kingdom's chances of getting any more cash are said to be slim to none while the competitive bidding process has been slammed as costly and unfair.

No more money means Fife Council would have to look elsewhere for £1.67m to turn Cowdenbeath Town House into a community hub and £2.79m to replace the Den Burn bridge in Cardenden as previously applied for.

Councillor David Barratt, convener of the South and West Fife area committee, said: "It doesn't feel like an effective use of council resources.

"The external costs alone were over £100,000 and I assume the staff resource was not insignificant either.

"It's been suggested that if a local authority has been successful with one bid then they are unlikely that they will be successful in any subsequent bids.

"That presumably means South and West Fife has no prospect of benefitting from this funding at all.

"So as an area committee it's disappointing the way that scheme has been run."

Peter Corbett, from the council's business and employability service, confirmed that the total external cost of preparing Fife's five bids was £101,000 and said: "We certainly don't think that competitive bids for this type of funding is an effective use of local authority resources.

"We would far rather see the type of funding equation or algorithms that were used with European funding to allocate this kind of money as it takes a lot of time and effort to submit those bids."

The UK Government announced a £4.8 billion levelling up fund in the Autumn of 2021 for major infrastructure projects.

Only local authorities can apply and the number of bids depends on how many MPs the local authority area has.

In round two Fife put in four constituency bids, one each for Dunfermline and West Fife, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, Glenrothes and Central Fife and North East Fife, and one for transport.

That included £1.67m for Cowdenbeath Town House and £2.79m to tackle flooding in Cardenden by replacing the Den Burn bridge.

Out of the £89.2m Fife Council applied for, they received £19.4m for two projects in Glenrothes and Central Fife.

Mr Corbett said: "We passed on round one as we didn't believe we were in a position to successfully submit bids and we went for round two.

"I'm glad we got some money but certainly it's not a very productive use of officer time and we would rather see allocations to areas based on need rather than competitive bids.

"We will have to look with serious intention as to whether it's worth our while submitting any further bids to a possible round three.

"Because there's little evidence that areas who were successful in one round subsequently get a further award in any subsequent rounds."

Around £3.8bn has been allocated in the first two rounds, leaving £1bn for round three which has not yet been announced.