Three major parts of the £1 billion redevelopment of Dundee’s Central Waterfront have been hit by delays.
A capital expenditure report to go before Dundee City Council’s policy and resources committee next week will state work on the interactive digital play park at Slessor Gardens and the new luxury hotel at Site Six have been delayed.
Changes to the design of both the park and hotel are responsible for the delays.
Plans to introduce free wifi on the waterfront have also been pushed back.
The play park, which will feature an interactive whale in a nod to Dundee’s maritime past, will sit in the south east corner of Slessor Gardens.
It is intended children will be able to walk through the “insides” and interact with projections of other marine life.
Construction on the park was due to start this financial year but has been pushed back into the next.
The report states that Dundee City Council’s projected capital expenditure for 2018/19 has dropped by £805,000 as a result, although it will now need to be added on to next year’s budget.
It states: “The Waterfront Digital Playpark had originally been programmed
to start in 2018/19, however, the scheme has been delayed due to ongoing design development.
“As such the projected expenditure has been re-phased to take account of the revised programme.
“The timescales for completion of the play park is still within the completion of the whole Central Waterfront project.”
The 30-year development of Dundee waterfront began in 2001.
Work to build the hotel at Site Six, to be operated by Marriott under its AC brand, has also been delayed due to changes in its brief and design.
Offices and apartments are already being built on Site Six, although though these have been criticised for overshadowing the £80 million V&A.
Comparing Dundee waterfront from 2001 to 2017
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It is now anticipated construction work will begin towards the end of 2019.
Meanwhile, the £1 million plan to introduce free wifi on the waterfront and the city centre have also been postponed in order to ensure the 5G service is future-proof.
It was originally intended the free wifi system would be in operation by the time V&A Dundee opened in September last year.
The report states: “The requirements for the 5G/Public Wifi project have been revised
following the revisiting of the scope of the project, the new invitation to tender is being developed with a view to minimising disruption, delivering public wifi in the Central Waterfront and incentivising the development of a 5G testbed.”
West End Liberal Democrat councillor Fraser Macpherson, who has been at the forefront of the campaign to introduce free wifi in Dundee since 2014, said: “We have been kept up to date with the issues around 5G.
“We want to make sure what we deliver is as future proof as possible – the most modern, and usable.
“I have had reassurances this is not a can that has been kicked down the road.”
A spokesperson for Dundee City Council said: “The wifi project will begin in the summer and it is hoped that work on the Waterfront Digital Playpark will start later this year, or early next year, and be completed in around 12 months.”