The cost of building the contentious elite performance sports centre in Caird Park has rocketed by more than £12.5 million.
The Regional Performance Centre for Sport (RPCS), which was approved by Dundee City Council’s development management committee in August, was to cost around £20 million.
It has emerged the centre, dubbed by critics as a “vanity project”, will cost more than £32 million to complete.
A report on capital expenditure monitoring, compiled by executive director of corporate services Gregory Colgan, blames the increase on the “increased scope” of the project, as well as a weak pound and “current market conditions”.
Union chief and campaigner against the RPCS, Jim Malone, said: “The Care for Caird group spent a lot of time with councillors explaining the difficulty this project would bring.
“The planning issues have been brushed under the carpet and the council last year had to accept the failings planning this centre after the Scottish Government intervened.
“The council has used the smoke screen of Dundee FC pulling out of the project as the reason why the facility’s cost has spiralled, as well as why they drastically changed the design and location of where the centre was supposed to be.
“It was obvious to all of us attending meetings about the development the appropriate audits had not been carried out and, as a result, councillors were not able to ask the right questions.
“What we would also like to know is why other local authorities are not contributing to these costs? It is a regional centre after all.
“In 2014, we were told the centre would cost no more than £10 million. It is now going to cost three times that. This project has been a shambles from day one.
“There are lots of members of our group and others who have opposed this centre being built who are sporty. We want there to be first class facilities in the city, but why are we not spending money investing in the facilities we already have.
“As we have always maintained, this is nothing more than a council vanity project.”
Councillors will meet on Monday at the policy and resources committee to be appraised on the council’s capital plan and note the report.
Mr Colgan’s report said: “The increase in budget allowance of £12.525 million is to
reflect the substantially changed and increased scope of the project over the original scheme, required through ongoing design development with key stakeholders and opportunities that have arisen.”
It states these include a new £5m energy centre with district heating capability, energy efficient tensile building structures for the indoor 3G pitch and athletics building, increased floor areas, furniture and sports equipment and upgrades to the athletics track and velodrome.
The report adds: “In addition, inflation over the extended period of design development, current market conditions and a weaker pound also account for the increase.
“The additional funding of £12.525m has been included in the capital plan 2018-23 and is funded from a combination of additional grant of £1 million and borrowing.”
Dundee City Council leader Councillor John Alexander said: “The increase in budget for the Regional Performance Centre for sport reflects the extended scope of this ambitious project over the original scheme.
“Amenities will now include a £5m Energy Centre with district heating capability and more energy efficient building structures for the indoor 3G pitch and athletics building.
“There will be increased floor areas, upgrades to the athletics track and velodrome, and more investment in furniture and sports equipment
“There have also been financial factors such as inflation over the extended period and a weaker pound that have affected the budget.
The SNP boss continued: “We carried out extensive consultation with stakeholders before the revised plans were approved.
“I am sure that this centre will provide huge benefits for the city and its people and reflects our drive to make Dundee a better place for all.
“It will provide top class sporting facilities that will support athletes in their development and help improve the health of our population through participation in sport.”