COUNCIL OVERCAME a last ditch attempt to delay the refurbishment of the lower ground floor which had been approved at its last meeting (NCE 6 January).
The subject was before members again because Council needed to approve a budget increase. An extra £75,000 was sought, bringing the total figure to £875,000 for work to create a new brasserie, cafe bar and three conference rooms.
Mark Whitby urged Council to think more deeply about the project. He read out a letter from absent council member Peter Rogers who suggested that the plans did not appear to fit the building well and that the work should be reconsidered. Roger Sainsbury said he too was concerned whether the present proposals dealt efficiently with the flow of people, and thought Executive should study the plans in more detail.
But senior vice president Joe Dwyer commended the scheme, and argued that it was vital if Thomas Telford was to be able to double its conference revenue to feed Institution funds.
The President told Council that it had already agreed the project and was simply being asked to approve a revised budget. Executive, he said, had studied the plans closely and had decided to reject an add on scheme for a glazed restaurant terrace.
Council approved the revised budget for the project.