December 16, 2022 3.00 pm This story is over 16 months old

Disbelief over £50,000 maintenance bill for Gainsborough arts centre

It’s an expensive time for construction projects

Inflation has pushed maintenance costs for Gainsborough’s Trinity Arts Centre to nearly double the budgeted amount.

£50,000 has been approved for the replacement of fire doors in the listed building, although some councillors struggled to believe the sums.

Only £30,000 had originally been budgeted by West Lindsey District Council for the work.

Inflation and the specialist work was blamed for bumping the price up.

The initial bids were received were between £50,000 and £80,000, but councillors were told this was as good as they were going to get.

Emma Foy, Director of Corporate Services, said: “There have been challenges this year due to huge inflation around construction and fewer suppliers in the market willing to tender. Everyone is very busy.

“It is very important that we do this work for health and safety reasons. We didn’t want to re-tender, as this may increase the price even further.”

The price was queried by several councillors at the Corporate Policy and Resources Committee who were stumped by the cost.

West Lindsey councillors asked how the costs had been arrived at.

Councillor Jeff Summers (Conservative) said: “Fire doors are doors – they might be rather large on that particular property – but how do we get to the region of £80,000? It seems like a lot of money for a few doors.”

He was told that the work included 20 internal and external doors.

Council leader Councillor Owen Bierley (Conservative) said: “Health and safety is an absolute priority. I fully recognise how busy contractors are.

“The quotes are only valid for 60 days, so we should take the decision and get on with the work.”

Councillor David Cotton (Liberal Democrats) added: “It’s a Grade II listed building. As soon as you touch a listed building, it adds £20,000 to the cost straight away because of the specialist work.”

Councillor Mandy Snee asked what the council was doing to control costs.

“We’ve had this issue before where we’ve tendered and then had to ask for more money. I agree we’ve got to get fire doors in place. But how do we ensure that this doesn’t happen time and again?” She said.

Council officers said that in future, all items in needing replacement and renewal on the Strategic Assets Management Programme would be revisited to ensure the pricing was up to date.


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