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Price hike hits £7.6 million museum scheme

25 Oct 2021 2 minute read
The under-construction Sands of Speed Museum, Pendine. Photo by Richard Youle.

Richard Youle, local democracy reporter

The cost of a new museum and hostel on the Carmarthenshire coast could rise by up to £1.7 million.

The county council-led project in Pendine has experienced difficulties, notably the contractor being placed into administration.

The £7.6 million scheme will comprise a Sands of Speed Museum, replacing the Museum of Speed, a 42-bed hostel, play area, car park and area for 10 motorhomes.

Cabinet members will hear more about the extra costs of this and other projects at a meeting on October 25.

Tender inflation

The cabinet report, referring to the Pendine scheme, said: “The increased costs can be attributed to the following: tender inflation, shortage of materials and supply complications, additional fees owing to the prolonged duration and need for additional design input, additional scaffolding costs to facilitate roof remediation works.”

The original tender for the Pendine project was based on 2018 prices.

The report said the worst-case scenario was a £1.7 million hike, but some of these costs are due to be recovered via insurance claims.

The original £7.6 million bill was split between the council, the European Union and the Welsh Government.

A new council five-year capital spending programme will factor in the extra cost.

The new programme will also make an allowance for a £300,000 rise in a £1 million emergency works scheme at Trebeddrod Reservoir, north of Llanelli.

Meanwhile, £750,000 will need to be spent by the council to upgrade Carmarthen Mart before it can be let to tenants.

A refurbishment of Parc Howard, Llanelli, will rise by an estimated £310,000 due to increasing contractor costs and emergency electrical works.

The report lists a number of new capital projects during the current financial year, including £160,000 required for a new stone access ramp at the entrance to Llanelli Town Hall, and £81,000 for urgent works to stop riverbank erosion at Parc Pontyberem.

The council was due to spend a huge sum on capital projects – £204.4 million – in 2021-22.

The biggest component – £88.7 million – was allocated to regeneration schemes like the Pentre Awel wellness village, Llanelli.

However, the revised forecast is now £114.9 million, mainly due to delays with school projects and with Pentre Awel, although contractor Bouygues UK has been appointed to deliver the first phase.

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