Construction work is still not complete on the revamped Aberdeen Art Gallery, the Evening Express can reveal today.
The gallery, Cowdray Hall and the Remembrance Hall are undergoing a major £30 million redevelopment.
Aberdeen City Council announced six weeks ago that the gallery – which was expected to open late this year or early next year – had been hit by further delays and wouldn’t open its doors until autumn 2019.
The council also stated that completion of the project was expected in the “coming weeks” but no expected date has been forthcoming from the local authority.
A fit-out process would begin thereafter in preparation for the return of the gallery’s collections. The gallery then needs to be refilled with art. Some of the key pieces are currently gracing the walls of galleries around the world.
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A council spokesperson said: “Final snagging works are being undertaken by contractors, following which the extensive fit-out will begin to prepare for the return of the collections. It is expected the new art gallery will be open to the public in autumn 2019, marking the completion of the landmark redevelopment of one of the city’s most significant historic buildings.”
Alex Nicoll, SNP group city growth spokesman, said: “Given the woeful delays and complete lack of detail regarding the final cost of this project, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for the people of Aberdeen to be provided with a little more detail regarding the extent of these ‘snagging’ issues. I really hope we’re not about to stumble upon yet another delay.”
Douglas Lumsden, co-leader of Aberdeen city council, said: “Of course the SNP know all about delays and increased costs on infrastructure projects given the serious delays and increased costs on the AWPR and the Queensferry Crossing.
“This administration remains committed to the upgraded art gallery and I am confident the public and the press will be impressed with the art gallery when it opens up to the public.”
The work will see the number of gallery spaces increased from 11 to 21, along with a community gallery.