THE new Abbeyview Hub is set to be at least a year late and the budget has now shot up by £2 million to £9.5 million.

The much-anticipated facility, which will essentially replace three buildings and has been talked about for six years, was due to be finished by September and open this month at a cost of £7.5m, up from the initial estimate of £6.5m.

However, it now won't be completed until the Autumn of next year and an update on Fife Council's capital plan says that £9.5m has now been set aside to pay for the project.

A spokesperson initially said the hub was "running on budget" but, after the Press pointed to the £2m increase in last week's cabinet committee papers, they then said the "higher figure includes project contingency funds".

Dunfermline Press: Abbeyview Community Centre is likely to be knocked down when the new hub opens next year. Abbeyview Community Centre is likely to be knocked down when the new hub opens next year. (Image: Newsquest)

Local councillor James Calder, who is the convener of the City of Dunfermline area committee, said: "The Abbeyview Hub is a really important project and it is important that it is successfully delivered.

“Right now inflation and supply chain issues are having an impact on many projects, so Fife Council has allocated additional funding to key projects to make sure that they can continue through the current financial climate.

"This was agreed when reviewing the capital investment plan earlier in the year.

“I am pleased that the council recognises the importance of this project and has ensured that appropriate funding had been made available to deal with any inflation-related issues.”

The council recognised back in 2017 that the Tryst Centre and Abbeyview Community Centre would need extensive - and costly - upgrades to be fit for the future.

Instead they came up with a plan to knock down the Tryst, the community centre is likely to follow when the hub is open, and enlarge and refurbish the former local office to create one big hub.

When the plans were unveiled to "merge these rundown local facilities" it was to cost £6.5m.

However, in March 2022 the council had to find an extra £1m for the project as "anticipated costs" were higher than expected.

The hub was supposed to be up and running before St Columba's and Woodmill high schools close in the summer of 2024 - the new Dunfermline Learning Campus is set to open next August - but that's no longer the case.

The council had planned for the building to be completed by September 2023, with a 'soft' opening this month.

Demolition of the Tryst Centre was completed at the start of this year and in March the council began work with a new target date of the hub being ready by Autumn 2024.

The "state-of-the-art" facility will be a huge boost for Abbeyview.

It will include a welcoming entrance, reception and offices; a large multi-use hall which can be used for events, sports and community functions; general purpose rooms; a teaching kitchen; a dedicated IT suite; a large community space for a range of activities including the after-school club and mother and toddler group; storage for centre users and groups; a secure garden and play area; and new landscaping with space for community planting.

There's also land set aside for future expansion, if it's required at a later date.

In March last year Andy MacLellan, the community projects team manager, had told councillors: "This is a priority for our service, locality management and the council, it's one of the first integrated community hubs we've done so it's in our interests to make sure this project happens.

"We would be going back (to the council) if there's an uplift in costs."