FIFE Council have backed £8 million refurbishment plans that will see Cowdenbeath Leisure Centre shut for over a year and promised "more extensive consultation" with the public.

The cabinet committee heard concerns that not enough information about the proposals, which will also see the library move from High Street, had been shared with users.

Councillor Rosemary Liewald said: "Concerns have been passed onto me that, other than a couple of notes of it being raised at the community council, there really wasn't a great deal going on in terms of consultation.

"Also, are the plans anywhere at all or are they due soon for them to be viewed by the public?

Central Fife Times: Swimming lessons will be offered at Burntisland, Bowhill or Lochgelly when the Cowdenbeath pool closes.Swimming lessons will be offered at Burntisland, Bowhill or Lochgelly when the Cowdenbeath pool closes. (Image: Fife Sports and Leisure Trust)

"I was also told that Maxwell Centre users were quite surprised to find out the nursery was going to be literally on their doorstep and it would appear the car park is going to be out of action for an indefinite period?"

Paul Vaughan, the head of the communities and neighbourhoods service, said there were indicative plans but the council needed to get committee approval and a better idea on costings before more detailed plans could be made available.

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He added: "There will be more extensive consultation.

"The nursery will be going into a modular building within the car park at the Maxwell Centre but it is just one part of the car park and there will still be areas available to park."

His report to the committee described the leisure centre on Pit Road as "run down" and in need of regular maintenance and health and safety upgrades.

Under the plans, it will close in April next year with the work expected to take 14 months and due for completion by the Autumn of 2025.

There will be a bigger gym, a new dedicated fitness / aerobic studio, the sauna and steam room will be replaced and new changing facilities installed.

Outside, the three-five-a-side football pitches will become one larger pitch with a new astroturf surface.

The early years childcare provision which is already located within the leisure centre will move to temporary accommodation within the Maxwell Centre car park while the work takes place.

A"flexible space" will be created to accommodate a new library, which will relocate from High Street in Autumn 2025.

Cllr Linda Erskine said: "We first discussed this way back in 2017. It was subjected to quite a bit of public scrutiny at the time and people really bought into it.

"Everybody knows the condition of the library so to be able to move it and bring it up to date is very welcome.

"There was a lot of consultation way back, it's just taken a long time to get here."