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Contractors work to the wire for Scottish Parliament opening


TWO MONTHS after the first staff moved into the controversial £250M new Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh, contractors were this week racing to complete the final landscaping ahead of its official opening tomorrow.

The Queen is due to perform the opening ceremony, the second recent deadline the project team had to meet. On 7 September Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) held their first debate in the dramatic curved debating chamber, topped by a complex oak and stainless steel roof structure.

Ten buildings make up the Parliament 'campus', including the refurbished 17th Century Queensberry House, which now provides accommodation for the presiding officer - equivalent to the Westminster Parliament's Speaker - and his staff.

Controversy has dogged the project as costs and programme have inflated (NCE 23 September). Total official cost, including site procurement, is now £431M.

Borders & Lothian Police is still considering a complaint made about the way the construction management contract was awarded to Bovis Lend Lease.

Fergus Ewing MSP alleged that only Bovis was allowed to adjust its bid, a charge the company denies.

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