Shoppers and residents have been left questioning why a piece of artwork in the West End was allowed to spiral £16,000 over budget after it was unveiled.
The “Sinderins Beacon”, which was part of the Dundee Decides consultation back in 2018, has made an impression on locals just hours after arriving.
Those watching the structure as it was erected were left scratching their heads as to what it actually was after it replaced a Victorian lamppost.
It was proposed that the beacon would represent the entrance to the shopping area at the Sinderins.
‘I was aware of the swelling costs’
Morag Thompson, from the West End, was blunt about the impact of the new monument as she said: “I can’t see that bringing anyone joy.
“What on earth is it? I’m certainly not impressed by it and the cost.
“When you look at the seating area at the Sinderins area I thought they would maybe put in more flowers or perhaps more lighting.”
Another resident who has lived in the area for over 50 years branded the new structure “hideous” before slamming the “swelling costs” to get the project over the line.
She added: “It’s absolutely hideous. I was aware of the swelling costs as well, an additional £16,000 in underspends from other parts of the city to get this over the line.
“They’ve replaced a Victorian lamppost with a giant piece of plastic as far as I’m concerned.”
Councillor Fraser Macpherson admitted he “wasn’t surprised” by the reaction to the beacon after it was installed on Wednesday.
He added: “The public reaction to the beacon has been mixed but that’s what you’re going to get with public art.
“I’m very concerned by the rising costs, however, as it was £16,000 above the agreed budget for the public art.
“My principle concern is that officers should not have powered ahead with the beacon and legally committed to it, given how much it was over the budget.
“I feel they should have come back to councillors and the community on what was the best way to go forward.
“Dundee Decides has generally been positive across the whole city, the playground at Blackness Primary is an example of that.
“I just don’t think this particular project was as well handled as it could have been, in terms of consultation and costs and that’s been taken on board.”
A Dundee City Council spokesman: “The Beacon is part of several improvements being delivered in the area through the Dundee Decides Community Infrastructure fund, in consultation with local residents.
“The budget allocated to the project was based on cost estimates and outline designs prepared at the time of the community voting process in 2018. Although the delivery of the Beacon project was above the initial cost estimates, it is still contained within the overall infrastructure improvement fund budget.”