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Investigation launched into Dundee V&A costs fiasco

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Dundee City Council has appointed John McClelland, chairman of the Skills Development Scotland, to investigate how the construction budget for the city’s proposed V&A museum rocketed from £49m to £80m

At a meeting this week, councillors authorised officers to proceed with a financial bail-out package for the scheme designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.

A preliminary council probe blamed the cost overruns on the building’s complex structure - particularly the ‘unusual extent’ of temporary works to build external walls- along with construction inflation and low market interest among contractors.

A report to councillors said: ‘These factors were recognised to some extent within the project’s risk register and were partially reflected in the pre-tender estimate received from the project cost consultants.

‘Nevertheless, it is the intention of the council’s chief executive to carry out a full review of the background to this situation so that lessons may be learned for future projects.’
Contractor BAM has also agreed to complete the project on a fixed price basis, in an attempt to prevent costs spiralling further.

On Monday the council pledged an extra £6.5m of funding towards the project. The Scottish Government last week announced it would raise its share of funding from £15m to £25m and is in discussions with the council about lending a further £12.61m.

And earlier today (27 January) the V&A Museum announced it had been awarded an additional £4.5m by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) at a meeting of its UK Board. This funding is on top of the orginal grant of £9.4m - £8m for capital - awarded in January 2014.

Earlier this month, New York practice REX, which lost out during the design contest for the building, told the AJ that it was obvious that winning scheme could ‘never be built within the assigned competition budget’.







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