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Opera House revamp costs rise to £12.7m

Opera House revamp costs rise to £12.7m

Wednesday 22 November 2023

Opera House revamp costs rise to £12.7m

Wednesday 22 November 2023


The overall cost of refurbishing the Opera House has risen by more than £1m, it has emerged.

The Government revealed that the overall project cost was now expected to reach £12.7m this afternoon, as it confirmed that the refurb was due for completion by 21 December 2024.

The Grade 2 Listed building first closed in March 2020 as a result of the covid-19 outbreak. However, it did not re-open when restrictions were lifted due to health and safety concerns.

Using £2.2m from the Fiscal Stimulus Fund – a pandemic money pot aimed at quickly re-stimulating the economy – the Government had intended to renovate and reopen the doors of the Grade 2 Listed building to the public by summer 2022.

Opera House

Pictured: The level of maintenance required at the Opera House is greater than originally anticipated.

However, it emerged earlier this year that the renovation of Jersey Opera House would no longer be eligible for a £2.2m grant because the volume and complexity of the required restoration was greater than first anticipated and meant the project wouldn’t be completed on time.

Last autumn, £11.5m of funding was allocated in the Government Plan to the project.

But, as Ashbe Construction was named as preferred contractor for the first stage of the works back in September, Economic Development Minister Kirsten Morel said he "wouldn't be surprised" if more problems that take "additional time or resource" to solve were uncovered in the initial phase of the revamp.

Today, officials said that the expected cost had "increased to £12.7 million because of increased mechanical and electrical works, covering such items as decarbonisation of the heating and hot water systems, and additional works which came to light during the first stage."

They added: "The additional £1m has been secured by the Minister for Sustainable Economic Development, from the Department for the Economy’s existing 2023 budgets, with the support of the Minister for Treasury and Resources."

The news came as Government confirmed that Ashbe Construction would be continuing the the main stage of the redevelopment. Since then, the firm has been removing the internal fixtures and fittings and assessing precisely what will be required during the main phase of the refurbishment.

Back in October, Director Ben Cairney gave Express a rundown of how the project had been going so far...

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