The leader of Dundee City Council has defended the spiralling cost of renovations to the authority’s city centre offices, saying the works are “long overdue”.
Upgrades to modernise the council’s City Square offices have been priced at £5 million, a rise of £1.69m from initial estimations.
A report submitted to the policy and resources committee said the additional expenditure had been included for the building’s West Wing, including members’ accommodation and council chambers.
Council leader John Alexander said the taxpayer-funded improvements would ensure the complex was “future proof”.
“As with any projects, as detailed plans are developed and additional issues identified such as technical requirements, costs can vary,” he said.
“Because of the nature, age and use of the City Square complex, a number of works have been identified to future-proof these buildings.
“New lifts are required, accessibility is to be improved, more open-plan offices are to be created to accommodate more staff, and there will be other general improvements.”
Mr Alexander added that the programme of works will continue in coming months and be carried out by the council’s construction services.
He said: “Across the City Square are neighbourhood services, communications, HR, legal and the chief executive’s section, and these upgrades will ensure more staff can be accommodated and that they have accommodation which is fit for purpose.
“We are trying to rationalise the council’s footprint, in terms of office spaces, and it’s important we continue to make best use of every building. These improvements will ensure we can make best use of the City Square complex.
“The accommodation within the City Square complex generally has remained untouched for longer than I’ve been alive and these improvements are long overdue.”