A potential dispute between Aberdeen council bosses and contractors puts a “cloud of uncertainty” over the city’s long-awaited art gallery redevelopment, an MSP has claimed.
The £30 million revamp of the A-listed building is due to be completed this autumn after first being closed for refurbishment in 2015. It was initially due to open in 2017.
Now a report to today’s city growth committee lists the project as “under officer assessment for potential contractual dispute” and that officers “continue to assess various aspects of a potential claim”.
The council said they will not clarify the nature of the potential dispute before councillors meet.
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Aberdeen Central SNP MSP Kevin Stewart fears the result may be further delay and increased costs and has said the public deserve clarity.
He said: “This project is running years late and we still do not know the true cost of the Art Gallery refurbishment.
“To learn a potential contractual dispute is on the cards at this point is deeply worrying.
“The cloud of uncertainty has been hanging over the art gallery for long enough and it is time the council tells the public exactly what is going on with this project, what the costs are mounting to, and whether this recent news will lead to more cost woes and delays.”
But George Street and Harbour Conservative councillor Ryan Houghton accused Mr Stewart of failing to campaign for the city or for better funding.
He said: “When it comes to Brexit or attacking redevelopment projects in Aberdeen, Mr Stewart can always be found giving his opinion in the papers but when he has to face the music of a budget he voted for we’ve had nothing.”