Cost of first-of-its-kind Fife care village in Methil rises to £17 million over Covid-19

The cost of a first-of-its-kind “care village” in Fife has risen by more than a third amid “increased infrastructure” and the impact of Covid-19.

Methil Care Village was budgeted at £10.6 million in 2019 planning documents, but this has now risen to £16.8m.

Fife Council hopes the ground-breaking project will bring communities together with its intergenerational format, including a 36-bed residential care home alongside a 39-place nursery and a community hub, with a drop-in cafe and day care centre.

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Construction on the care village, which will sit on the site of the former Kirkland High School in Leven, began in October and is due to complete in April 2022.

Plans for Methil care village.

It is part of a multi-million pound care home development project, including two other 24-bed care homes, in Anstruther and Cupar.

But private care home operator Robert Kilgour, chair of Renaissance Care, which operates 15 care homes across Scotland, accused Fife Council of being “unrealistic” about the costs of social care.

The council is building Scotland’s “three most expensive care homes”, claimed Mr Kilgour, and is not getting value for money, as the main contract on the Methil development was not put out to tender and has been taken on by Fife Council.

Ken Gourlay, head of assets, transportation and environment at Fife Council, said other contracts on the development were put out to tender and the “vast majority” of work on the site had been taken on by the private sector.

The Methil care home will cost £200,000 per bed, excluding cost of the land, which Fife Council owns already, compared to a typical cost of £115,000 to £120,000 in the private sector, Mr Kilgour said.

“Local authorities say they are strapped for cash and can’t afford to pay independent sector care homes the true cost of care,” he said.

“I want to highlight the double standards in operation. There is no level playing field – local councils are not being realistic and honest in recognising the true costs of care.”

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The cost of the care home within Methil Care Village has risen from £6.1m to £7.2m.

Other costs have also risen, which will cover the nursery, community hub, 35 two-bed bungalows and an open green space.

Nicky Connor, director of Fife Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) said: “The development in Methilhaven is more than a care home, it’s a care village, which includes a 36 residential bed care home, a nursery, a day service for older people, a hairdressing salon and a community drop-in/café area.

“The care village will also feature 35 extra care, two-bedroomed bungalows for older people around the site and will have a ‘village green’ area for everyone to enjoy the outdoor space.

“The care village is the first of its kind in Scotland and there are real opportunities for intergenerational learning between the children and older people and bringing communities together.”

She added: “The Methilhaven Care Village is part of Fife Council’s commitment to replace nine of its ten residential care homes to provide the highest quality care and support in line with Care Inspectorate and Health and Safety guidance, whilst maintaining a homely environment for its residents.”

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