The opening date for a new Aberdeen attraction has been pushed back again – and the budget for the work is £2.3 million more than originally anticipated.
A new report shows the opening date for the Hall for Heroes at Provost Skene’s House is now expected to be autumn 2020.
The report also states the budget for the project is £3.8m – compared to £1.5m cited in 2016.
The restoration was initially hoped to have been completed by July 2017, however, there were delays due to construction issues.
At the time, finance convener and council co-leader Douglas Lumsden said he hoped the historic building would be open at the beginning of this year.
It is now expected a construction contract will be awarded next month.
Problems have been identified as part of the project, however, the report states the age of the building may lead to further problems being identified once work begins.
It says: “There are construction and budgetary risks when dealing with such an old building; the primary one is that we are dealing with the unknown.
“When the works commence to disturb the existing external and internal fabric of the building, there is a significant risk that we may uncover some challenges in the form of unusual or unexpected issues.
“This could range from dry rot or wet rot through to structural issues with the building.”
The report, which is due to go before councillors at the capital programme committee on Monday, added: “Only upon opening the building up will these issues be uncovered.”
Football greats Sir Alex Ferguson and Denis Law and music star Annie Lennox have been selected to feature in the new attraction.
The report also states the autumn 2020 date is a tentative one and depends on the plans of the contractor.
It said: “The programme milestones throughout the delivery will be determined by the successful contractor’s programme.
“At this stage of pre-award, all that can be stated is it is envisaged the works will be complete by autumn 2020 when the new facility will open to the public.”
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SNP Capital Programme spokesman Councillor Alex Nicoll said: “In 2016 the administration told us that Provost Skene’s House would cost £1.5m and be open by July 2017.
“Now, three years later, they are telling us it will be at least 150% over budget and will open at least three years later than planned.”
He added: “At this point they have to apologise to the people of Aberdeen for once again squandering their money, but I won’t be holding my breath.”
Council co-leader Mr Lumsden said: “This administration is committed to Provost Skene’s House celebrating Aberdeen’s heroes from the world of stage and screen, sporting champions, musical maestros, wordsmiths and scientists who have contributed so much to the world.
“As we’ve seen with the SNP, whether it’s the failed Common Agricultural Policy IT system, hundreds of millions over budget and still not working or the AWPR £250m over cost, there are challenges in public sector procurement that face all political administration.”