THE much-anticipated £530,000 reopening of Abbot House is "taking longer than we thought".

That's the message from the 16th-century building's owners, who have promised that it will be worth the wait.

There were hopes Abbot House would open this summer but Nora Rundell, chief executive of the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust, said: "It's had various setbacks and issues that have arisen out of planning but we had a meeting this morning (Tuesday) and it's all very positive.

"It's got planning permission and everyone wants to see it open again but we're now caught up in the paperwork, costings, tenders and building warrant.

"It is happening but it's taking longer than we thought."

She was reluctant to put a timescale on the old pink hoose opening again but said the "exciting" plans would soon come to fruition.

It's certainly an ambitious project, with a release issued by a marketing consultant on behalf of Abbot House last December stating the new first-floor restaurant would be "headed up by one of Scotland’s best chefs" and offer a "great quality dining experience". The gardens and cafe will be reopened, and Abbot House will include an artisan bakery, shop and possibly a tourist information centre, as well as a new entrance, stair and lift.

The category A-listed townhouse, next door to the Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries on Abbot Street, was also in need of repair after lying empty since August 2015. It had latterly been used as a heritage centre but closed due to financial problems.

The ownership reverted to the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust who have, with funding assistance from various groups, overseen its restoration.