Tayside and Central Scotland

Councillors approve £80m V&A Dundee project budget

V&A Dundee exterior by night Image copyright V&A at Dundee
Image caption Building work on the design museum could be under way by the end of March

Councillors have backed the new £80m budget for Dundee's V&A museum project.

After a 90-minute meeting, councillors unanimously agreed to delegate authority to city development director Mike Galloway and chief executive David Martin to accept the £76.16m tender submitted by BAM Construction.

An independent investigation into the cost of the project was also agreed, to be chaired by former Rangers football club chairman John McClelland.

Building work could start in March.

There had been calls for an inquiry after the cost of the project almost doubled from its original price of £45m.

The council's policy and resources committee agreed a new funding strategy to deliver construction of the design museum, which includes £6.5m from the authority's capital budget.

The Scottish government has already pledged an additional £10m, and bosses at the Heritage Lottery Fund are to meet later to discuss contributing an extra £4.5m.

'Comprehensive review'

Construction work at the museum's waterfront site needs to begin by the end of March to avoid a six-month delay due to the seal pup season on the Tay.

If work gets under way on schedule, the building, designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma following an international competition, could be completed by the end of 2017.

It would then open to visitors in the summer of 2018, and officials say it could net the city an economic benefit of more than £11m a year thereafter.

Mr Martin had promised a "comprehensive review" of the project's spiralling costs.

Mr McClelland, recognised as an expert on public procurement and supply chain operations, was appointed to lead the probe having previously conducted reviews of public sector procurement for the Scottish government and the Welsh Assembly.

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