Refurbishment of Wellingborough's multi-storey car park could rise to £5.3 million

Councillors will be told no repair work or insufficient repairs would result in the car park being closed and demolished in a few years

By Stephanie Weaver
Thursday, 30th January 2020, 6:00 am

The cost of refurbishing Wellingborough's multi-storey car park has now been estimated at £5.3 million.

Funding for the car park project had been approved by Wellingborough Council's resources committee at £2,766,675 last June.

Councillors then agreed an increase to £3,026,675 in September.

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The cost of refurbishing the car park is now 5.3 million

Just four months on, a review has confirmed the estimated budget of £3 million did not include sufficient allowance for design and project management fees.

More surveys have also shown that costs for some of the repairs are estimated to be higher than before as the areas needing attention have increased.

A report due to be considered by the council's resources committee next week says: "As part of the discussions regarding the refurbishment of the car park there has been liaison between officers, Wellingborough Norse, the police and owners of the Swansgate Centre.

"This has identified a number of additional items that would help to improve the car park safety, reduce anti-social behaviour and generally the environment within the car park and Swansgate Centre."

Additional items include full refurbishment of the male and female toilets, refurbishing the lift lobby, refurbishing doors in the stairs and lobbies, lighting and security in the stairwells, and ANPR cameras and barriers.

With extra work identified, the start date has had to be delayed from February.

But once a decision is made, work would be able to start in March 2020.

It is hoped it would take until the end of December 2020 or January 2021 with the work being phased so no major works are done in December and sufficient parking is available throughout.

While the refurbishment cost has increased, it is not as high as the cost of a new car park, which was estimated at £15 million in 2019.

The report says the main risk is 'inaction' and adds: "Either no repair work or insufficient repair work will result in the car park having to be closed and demolished within a few years.

"In that event, the cost of replacing the lost car parking provision would exceed the cost of the full refurbishment.

"Disruption to businesses in the town centre would be a significant risk if the car park had to close, either permanently or during reconstruction."

The committee will be asked to approve progressing with necessary work and additional items at an estimated total cost of £5,352,944 and inclusion of additional resources of £2,326,269 to the current capital programme to enable completion of the project at Swanspool House, Wellingborough, at 7pm on February 5.