Park budget is £350,000 in red
Date published: 04 February 2013
A MASSIVE overspend on the refurbishment of a picturesque park has left council chiefs looking for £350,000 to settle the bill.
The £1.4 million transformation of Shaw’s Dunwood Park bust its budget - and Oldham Council, which administered the works and supervised the contractors - has been forced to find the extra cash.
Just over £1 million was granted by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund for the redevelopment with the rest of the money coming in grants from the council.
A report to the council’s Cabinet says changes to the specifications were to blame for the overspend.
Of the £350,000 overspent, £200,000 was for additional work such as drainage and disabled access.
The transformation of Dunwood Park was sparked by a Lottery grant. Work began in April, 2011.
The park now has three new tennis courts, a bowling pavilion, a community hall, new flower beds, a grass stage area and even a duck-feeding platform.
Council leader Jim McMahon said: “The silver lining for the public is that there is a fantastic community facility that people are enjoying today.”
The Friends of Dunwood Park were instrumental in helping the council win the Lottery cash, as it had to demonstrate community support for the scheme.
Claire Nangle, head of Strategic Regeneration and Development at Oldham Council, said: “We‘re still in negotiations with contractors about the final costs but we estimate the overspend will be in the region of £350,000.
“About £200,000 of that relates to additional work not in the original scope of the project, including significant drainage work.”
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