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York Guildhall delays add millions to redevelopment costs

A decision by the Conservative-Lib Dem Coalition to delay plans to refurbish and redevelop the Guildhall complex could cost the council up to £3.2m more than if original plans had gone ahead, it has been confirmed.
 
The future of the Guildhall was discussed at this week’s Corporate Scrutiny Management Committee (CSMC) meeting where council officers confirmed £1.6m of Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and £1m of Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership funding (LCR LEP) had been lost, and £625k of extra costs has been incurred, by delaying progress on the scheme.
 
Officers also confirmed that the decision the Conservative-Lib Dem Coalition had made not to use the Guildhall for digital media arts had not significantly affected the business case.
 
Labour’s finance spokesperson, Coun. Neil Barnes said:
 
“The political posturing of Conservatives and Lib Dems has cost the scheme not just the £1.6m from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £1m from the Leeds City Region, but £625k in inflation costs and annual running costs. That’s  well over £3m extra in cost to the council that was entirely avoidable.
 
“Officers have confirmed that no significant changes have been made to the project, so this is a perfect example where in opposing something simply for political gain and for no sound reason, the only loser is the York taxpayer.  This a gross waste of public money that we will ensure the current administration is held accountable for”.

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