Rick Mather Architects has hit back at claims that its Eastbourne Cultural Centre building in Sussex is behind schedule after being beset by a series of problems.
Eastbourne Borough Council leader David Tutt told Eastbourne Today that the £8.5 million landmark building, which will include a new art gallery, conference exhibition space, education facilities and a café – was ‘running late and is likely to be over budget’.
Tutt said: ‘It is impossible to say at this stage how much that will be as it will only be known after discussions with all parties have been concluded.
u8232 ‘We are now working towards a completion date in March when the building will be handed over, with the official opening in June. We would have preferred to have finished this as early as we originally planned. ‘
But a spokesman for Rick Mather told the AJ that the building remained on schedule to open in spring. He said: ‘I am not aware of it [the reported change in opening dates]. We are still saying work will be completed in spring next year.
‘It will be completed in February or March and will open to the public a month later.’
Plans for the Cultural Centre were first discussed eight years ago, with Eastbourne Borough Council, the Arts Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) all throwing their financial weight behind the project.
Recently, construction work at the scheme has hit problems with Eastbourne Today claiming services and structural engineering had been delayed. A specialist window contractor employed on the job was also reported to have folded.
A spokesman for the contractor, Morgan Ashurst – formerly Bluestone – said: ‘The Eastbourne Cultural Centre is a groundbreaking and technically complex scheme which has understandably created challenges for the design and construction teams.
’However, we are now close to completion and we are looking forward to delivering a fantastic facility that we all as a community can be proud of.’