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Costs rocket on Zaha's Glasgow transport museum

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Costs on Zaha Hadid's troubled transport museum project in Glasgow have shot up by almost £15 million - the second price hike in 18 months.

Estimated costs on the publicly funded riverside landmark on the bank of the Clyde - near the massive Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre - have now jumped from £60 million to £74 million, after the initial price prediction of £50.5 million.

In January 2006 Glasgow City Council (GCC) admitted the project had overshot budget by almost £10 million, forcing Hadid to carry out a series of cost-cutting design modifications.

These included ditching a proposed aluminium-sheet cladding system, reducing the thickness of the interior lining and adjusting the size of the windows on the north and south facades (

Published 25 October 2006 at 11:43

Zaha forced into Glasgow museum redesign due to value-engineering pressures).

But the budget-busting measures have clearly flopped, and next week Glasgow City Council's (GCC's) executive committee will decide whether to approve the significant increase in capital funding.

Culture and Sport Glasgow, the charitable company created to deliver culture and sport across the city, insists there will be no further cost increases because 90 per cent of construction contracts have now been awarded.

Councillor Archie Graham, executive member for Culture and Sport Glasgow, blames the price hikes squarely on the detailed design of the building, lack of competition in the construction industry, and inflation.

'While there has been inflation in the costs of the project, we now have a clearer picture of the ultimate cost,' he said.

'We are not prepared to accept that there are parts of Glasgow which are simply too difficult to regenerate, as long as there is any chance of bringing previously derelict land back into use and delivering new facilities for Glasgow.'

GCC's executive committee will next week consider approving HBG Construction to build the museum.

by Clive Walker

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