THE ESTIMATED cost of a care facility expansion has increased by over £1 million since last year, a council has confirmed.

Flintshire Council's cabinet members will review details on the planned expansion of Marleyfield House in Buckley and will be asked to approve the budget for the scheme when they meet on Tuesday.

Marleyfield House is a council residential home in Buckley. This nationally recognised, sector-leading scheme will see an increase in existing capacity by an additional 32 beds therefore providing accommodation to support 64 people in total.

A report to the cabinet explains cabinet members were told in April 2019 how the outlined cost of the project was estimated to be £7.6 million.

But the cost analysis provided to members for Tuesday's meeting sets the estimate at £8.62 million.

According to the report, some of the reasons for the £1 million rise include an "increase in costs for construction materials to facilitate the design, including structural support to enable the offset positioning of the floors" and an "increase in area of the building to accommodate amenities and facilities with residents as well as to enable all rooms to become equality act compliant."

"The design demonstrates an innovative approach to supporting individuals in residential settings," a council spokesman said.

"It offers increased usable communal outdoor space and accessibility to support the well-being of residents.

"Each room with have personal outdoor space either through a balcony on the first floor or a patio on the ground.

"The works taking place at the home will have a positive impact and benefit for both existing and new residents.

"There will be extensive landscaping works to the external spaces that will facilitate movement across the home and an integration of the existing and new buildings."

Councillor Christine Jones, cabinet member for social services, said: “Flintshire is a forward-thinking council, and this scheme is part of our proactive approach to addressing the current significant pressures and fragility in the care sector across the country.

"We have an ageing population with increasingly complex needs, so we must increase the care and our care homes, this is despite a greater emphasis on keeping people living at home for longer.”

Planning permission for the scheme was granted in January. The next step is to enter into a contract with the construction firm.

This needs to be done before March 5 so Innovative Housing Programme (IHP) funding of £1.6 million from Welsh Government can be accessed.

The construction is due to start in April 2020, with completion expected by April 2021.