Guildhall project costs set to soar to £21.7 million

A report being considered by the York Council tomorrow reveals that repairs and the reconfiguration of the Guildhall will cost an extra £1.5 million on top of the previously agreed £20 million budget.

A different report recommends that the York Science Park Ltd company be appointed to run the proposed business start up centre.

The increased costs bring into further focus the poor management issues which have dogged the project since 2012.

The Council has made no attempt to update its business plan assumptions.

Two years ago it gave the go ahead to Option 1 detailed below.

It is now clear that the capital financing costs (and hence borrowing repayments) will be higher and that there will be no income from the proposed restaurant for the foreseeable future.

The income to the Council, from renting office space to Science City, is expected to be £160,000 a year.

Option 2 now looks like a much better deal for taxpayers.

Could things get worse?

Maybe.

Building works continue during the winter months with more delays possible.

The council would remain responsible for external maintenance of the structure and fabric of the complex, with the support of an annual sinking fund payment of £50k pa from YSPL as tenant.

Maintenance costs on this very old building have, in the past, been much higher.

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