Government knew of spiralling Dundee V&A costs ‘nine months ago’

Fiona Hyslop
Fiona Hyslop

The Scottish Government was informed about the spiralling cost of Dundee’s V&A museum nine months before it was revealed to the public, the culture secretary has revealed.

Fiona Hyslop’s admission came in a written answer to Mid Scotland and Fife Labour MSP Claire Baker, who asked when the Scottish Government was made aware of the spiralling cost of the now £80.1 million project.

Ms Hyslop replied that Dundee City Council told the government that the initial £49m estimate would not be met in April 2014— almost six months ahead of the independence referendum and nine months before it was announced publicly by the local authority.

She also revealed news of the final £31m overspend was flagged up to the Scottish Government on December 18 — a month before it was made public.

Ms Hyslop said: “Dundee City Council kept the Scottish Government informed, within the bounds of commercial confidentiality, of the contract negotiations.

“As part of this, in April 2014, the council informed the Scottish Government that the initial estimate of the price would not be met and that there was a potential impact on the site mobilisation planned for August 2014.

“The contract price of £80.11m published by Dundee City Council on 16 January 2015 was shared with the Scottish Government on 18 December 2014.”

She added: “The Scottish Government has had regular discussions with the V&A Dundee partners since the ambitions for the project were first set out by the partners in June 2008. Ministers most recently met the council on 18 December 2014.”

Mrs Baker said: “It is now clear that the Scottish Government knew months in advance. The people of Dundee deserve to know who knew what and when, and why the costs have risen so dramatically.”

A review into the V&A project has now been launched.

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