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Call to halt £30million revamp of Aberdeen Art Gallery

Aberdeen Art Gallery revamp plans
Aberdeen Art Gallery revamp plans

Council leaders are being urged to abandon a controversial revamp of Aberdeen Art Gallery amid claims of spiralling costs and widespread objections from the public.

The opposition SNP group has tabled a motion to be considered at a full council meeting next month calling for the tendering process for the £30million renovation project to be halted immediately.

The refurbishment scheme, which already has planning permission and the majority of funding in place, has proved highly contentious.

The design has been described as “cultural vandalism”, while the planned removal of a marble staircase has provoked anger among many Aberdonians.

It has now been suggested that costs have increased substantially, particularly for a new museums collection centre to store expensive artwork at Granitehill, Northfield.

The SNP believes this will now cost £6million, double the most recent estimate of £3million.

SNP councillor John Corall said the art gallery needed work to make it wind and watertight, but otherwise

He added: “Excluding administration councillors, I have not met a single Aberdonian with a good word to say about the art gallery redevelopment.

“It is blindingly obvious that it does not carry the support of the public and for that reason alone the plug should be pulled.

“The council has already underwritten £10million of public donations and as far as I understand not a single penny has yet been donated.

“We need to face reality that the public and business community in the city are not going to be forthcoming with this amount of money for a scheme very few people want. It is time to do the decent and logical thing and cancel the carbuncle.”

Work on the £30million refurbishment of the 130-year-old building is due to start early next year.

It is being supported by a £10million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, while the Labour-led council administration has committed a further £10million.

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