PLANS for a 300-foot national monument in West Fife are taking shape with a preferred site now identified.

As reported by the Press in February last year, Citizen Spire is the brainchild of Dunfermline artist Ian Moir, and the potential £10 million landmark could be set to rival Falkirk's Kelpies.

A feasibility study is expected to start by the end of this month for the Spire to be placed at St Ninian's opencast coal mine next to the M90 at Kelty.

Land owners Hargreaves are backing the proposal for the structure as they develop a long-term strategy for the site.

Ian told the Press: "In my opinion, St Ninian's is an ideal site for a variety of reasons.

"It sits right in the heart of the West Fife villages which suffered after the closure of so many pits in the 1980s. We expect that a national monument of this scale will have a positive economic impact on the area and will pay homage to our ancient and industrial heritage.

"The site also offers a prominent, south-facing embankment which will elevate the structure and make it highly visible to motorists travelling on the M90."

Designs for Citizen Spire have been scaled back since they were first revealed to the public last March, with the pyramid-shaped structure now set to be "purely artistic" without any recreational facilities.

Early plans included visions for the Spire to be a venue for discussion and education with plans to house galleries and exhibitions.

Ian is currently working on the design, which he believes will be complete by mid-February.

Citizen Spire exhibits were displayed recently in the Scottish Parliament building as part of the Carnegie Day celebrations, representing the collective ambition for the future of West Fife.

He has been buoyed by the support for the ambitious project, saying: "Thus far, support for the project has been overwhelmingly positive. Crucially, the leader of Falkirk Council, Cecil Meiklejohn, has endorsed the proposal and said that Citizen Spire has the potential to do for Dunfermline what the Kelpies have done for Falkirk. We have also won the support of Kelty Community Council who are very keen to see it happen.

"As with the redevelopment of the old Fire Station, the positive support from our local community gives this project huge momentum. For that, we are always very appreciative.

"We have also gained endorsements from professor Richard Demarco, Provost Jim Leishman, Skids frontman Richard Jobson, Alex Rowley MSP, Shirley Anne Somerville MSP, Willie Sullivan, from the Electoral Reform Society, and Robin McAlpine, from Common Weal."

A new website has also been set up for the public to chart Citizen's Spire future: