PLANS to bring a new healt centres to Kincardine is likely to cost millions more than originally planned.

Initial agreements for the projects were approved by the Scottish Government last year and approval of an outline business plan will be sought at a meeting next month.

According to a report brought to the NHS Fife Board on Tuesday, the original estimate for the new facility at Kincardine was around £4.65m – but this has now risen to £7.8m.

Similarly, a plan for Lochgelly has risen to £13m from an initial £8.15m.

NHS Fife's head of capital planning and project director, Ben Johnstone, told board members that despite the increases in cost, the projects were "considered to represent value for money" in the current marketplace.

He said: "This case for change remains. The health centres are required to offer a full range of integrated health services locally within an appropriate environment.

"In addition, these two initial health centres will act as exemplar facilities on which to establish a wider primary care premises strategy in Fife. Work regarding this strategy is also under way separately."

Mr Johnstone said the reasons for the cost rise was down to several factors.

He added: "There have been some increases in terms of building sizes but I think the bulk of the costs increase is just due to current market pressures we are seeing.

"Pressures in terms of the Covid pandemic and war and Brexit. These things are creating the perfect storm, which is increasing the prices.

"We have a risk contingency pot which should help to offset any additional increases."

NHS Fife's director of finance and strategy, Margo McGurk, said they had kept the Scottish Government up to date with changes in the plans.

She said: "These are are two important local projects that we are in constant engagement with the Scottish Government so these business cases are expected by them and we have also been briefing them in relation to, in particular, the increase in forecast costs which is a market increase across all the capital programmes in NHS Scotland at the moment – it is not limited to our Fife programmes."

The health board started looking at replacing Kincardine Health Centre in 2016 after stating that the building had "reached the end of its economic life as a clinical facility".

The former police station was built in the 1930s and had been modified considerably throughout its lifetime, now sitting at three times its original size.

NHS Fife has said that modern, safe and fit-for-purpose premises would allow them to integrate health and social care, offer an increased range of services, target health inequalities, improve accessibility and give staff a better working environment.