WORK has not started yet but the cost of the Abbeyview hub has already gone up – by £1 million.

Fife Council said that £6.5m had been set aside for the new facility, due to be completed in September 2023, but now they need more to ensure it can go ahead.

A report to councillors confirmed: "The anticipated costs of the programme are £1m higher than the funding available."

The Abbeyview local offices have been earmarked as the best place for the new hub, which will replace three "rundown" council buildings.

The Tryst Centre is set to be demolished at the end of March, the community centre will be knocked down in Autumn 2023 and all the services currently offered will move to a bigger facility to be created by enlarging and re-purposing the local offices.

Budget constraints mean the new hub will meet the "minimum needs of the community" but, if the demand is there, it could be extended in the future.

A revised cost estimate for construction, demolition and ground works, as well as fixtures and fittings, is now around £7.5m.

Two separate allocations of capital funds have already been made and councillors will be asked today (Thursday) to agree a further £1m from the communities and neighbourhoods pot.

After first identifying the need for a new hub five years ago, the council are now in a hurry to get moving.

Plans were tabled in January and a report to the policy and co-ordination committee said: "There is a risk that construction costs could increase if delays are incurred in awarding the contract for the programmed works for the project.

"The demolition works of the Tryst Centre are scheduled for end of March and there will be risk to future continuity of service if the project was delayed thereafter.

"Due to the volatility in the construction industry, in terms of availability of materials and resources, the council must be mindful that these conditions may impact this project in terms of cost and timescale."

The hub will have a large multi-use hall which could be used for sports, leisure and conferences; there will be a training kitchen, IT suite, general purpose rooms and offices and the changes will better meet the needs of, for example, the after-school club and mother and toddlers group.

Outside, there will be a secure garden and play area.

All going well, construction work will start in August and it should be completed 13 months later with a 'soft opening' in November 2023.

The report added: "The construction of the new integrated community hub will provide a much-needed new facility in the heart of Abbeyview whilst removing inefficient and poor facilities which would require major maintenance works."

Councillor Helen Law told the Press in January: “The need for a new facility at Abbeyview has been long-standing.

“There has been a lot of communication between Abbeyview Futures Group and the community and we have been trying to accommodate local groups such as the kids’ club and disco.

“We’ve got to the point where we’ve got a plan on the table with the commitment that we will look to get a games hall in a separate proposal in the future.

“There is real concern that there will be a need for more facilities when the Woodmill High School facilities are gone.

“There is a promise from Fife Council should the concern materialise and there has been land allocated on the site for this.”