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Delays add £40M to cost of Scottish Parliament building

CONSTRUCTION DELAYS have added £40M to the soaring cost of Scotland's new parliament building in Holyrood, central Edinburgh, a report published last week has revealed.

Figures presented to the Scottish Parliament finance committee last week show that construction and fit-out are expected to come in at £294.6M - a leap of £28.2M since February.

The report was produced by a board including cost consultant Davis Langdon & Everest, construction manager Bovis LendLease and consultant Arup.

Landscaping work will add an extra £14.2M to the bill.

There are now fears that further delays will push construction and fit-out costs well above the £300M mark.

Under the fast track construction management procurement route, design and construction are overlapping, so any design revisions have the potential to hold up construction.

According to the report, there has been a massive reappraisal of the parliament's vulnerability to terrorist attack, leading to re-engineering of the facade and other parts of the building.

Delays caused by this alone have bumped up overall costs by between £20M and £30M.

A Scottish Parliament spokesman said risks had been reappraised following the 11 September 2001 terrorist strikes in America, and in the wake of recent attacks on the Swiss, Indian, Argentinian and Armenian parliaments.

Major delays have also been caused by problems on the glazing contract. The original cladding contractor Flour City ceased trading 12 months ago.

'After prolonged, frustrating and eventually abortive negotiations, a contractor was finally awarded the work, but after a three month loss in programme terms. This time loss has serious implications for all other packages, ' says the report.

And there has been a 'substantial increase' in the cost of internal fit out works. Detailed design of interfaces between structure and services has proved complicated. As a result of this complexity the number of contractors bidding for fit out has been disappointingly small. Lack of competition has resulted in high prices.

In March 1998 construction of the project was forecast to cost £50M.

INFOPLUS www. scottish. parliament. uk

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