Hull’s bill for City of Culture project goes up by £9m

The Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, where �4.53m improvements are planned.
The Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, where �4.53m improvements are planned.
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Councillors will be asked this week to approve an extra £9m funding to make Hull a “world-class visitor destination” in time for 2017.

More money is to be spent on the city’s Ferens Art Gallery, which will be hosting the Turner Prize during its year of City of Culture, and Hull New Theatre, which wants to host bigger West End productions like War Horse.

The council is having to find another £2m towards the £20.5m cost of revamping streets and squares and more money will go on upgrading swimming facilities at Woodford Leisure Centre, adding a learner pool as well as a six-lane 25m swimming pool.

Improvements at the art gallery, including a new draught lobby, will now cost £4.53m, against the original budget figure of £3.9m.

The cost of work on Hull New Theatre, including adding 200 extra seats, and increasing the size and height of the stage, has doubled from its original estimate to £8.7m.

The council will also set aside a contingency fund of almost £5m.

Council leader Steve Brady said as well as their year in the spotlight, they needed to create a legacy for residents.

He said: “It is essential that we are ready, not just for our year in the spotlight in 2017 but beyond this; creating a legacy that has tangible benefits to the city and its residents.

“We know that investment into these key areas is imperative to securing a prosperous future and this Capital investment will increase visitors, helping to create much-needed jobs for the area.”