Dundee City Council has endorsed independent recommendations for addressing delays and escalating costs in its flagship Waterfront regeneration project.
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Councillors have agreed that the original price projections for the new V&A Museum of Design in Dundee were not “sufficiently robust”, and that the Chief Executive of the V&A should be able to implement the recommendations in the independent McCelland review of the construction project. The flagship addition to the £1bn Waterfront regeneration has faced heavy criticism for costs spiralling significantly over budget and having delayed its opening date by four years, to 2018.
Consultant John McCelland’s frank assessment of the museum found that the "project had, from the beginning, little prospect of being delivered for the original budget due to an accumulation of factors that mitigated against that outcome being achieved.” To fix the situation, his report recommends an urgent review of the £4.8m budget for furniture, fittings and equipment; that all decision-making be supported by fully detailed cost estimates prepared in house or externally; and that Dundee City Council appoints both a full-time cost manager and full-time in-house project manager for the V&A.
At a meeting of the policy and resources committee of Dundee City Council, councillors agreed with the report’s conclusions and authorised the Chief Executive to implement the changes. The cost of additional professional resources are to be met from existing revenue budgets and approved capital plans. To address the lack of communication, councillors noted the requirement for comprehensive reports be regularly submitted to the Policy and Resources committee.
The construction is now scheduled to finish by the end of 2017, with the museum to open in June 2018.