BREAKING NEWS: Cost of Delapre Abbey revamp rises by another £650,000 - now more than £1.5 million over budget

The cost of the restoration work at Delapre Abbey is now approaching 8 million
The cost of the restoration work at Delapre Abbey is now approaching 8 million

The cost of refurbishing Delapre Abbey in Northampton has increased by another £650,000...and taxpayers' money may be used to plug the gap.

Delapre Abbey is due to open to the public later this year after an extensive revamp. Funding for the project came from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which gave £3.65 million and Northampton Borough Council, which originally pumped in £2.7 million.

But in April last year, the council put in a further £920,000 after rising costs and what the council described as further improvements to the renovation plans.

Now, this morning, the council said it would be going to Cabinet with a proposal to invest up to a further £650,000 on the project.

A spokesman for the council said there had been "unforeseen hurdles throughout which have led to delays and cost implications".

"These include the discovery of a medieval cellar, which has now been preserved beneath the new kitchen, and a plunge pool - perhaps one of the most unusual elements of the building discovered so far.

"In fact, following the discovery of several Roman artefacts a year ago, it is now known that the Abbey's history stretches back up to a century longer than previously thought.

"The borough council also elected to commission a higher quality decoration for the stunning South Range rooms, along with heritage-standard finish on the floors.

"Discussions are still on-going but the increased costs are expected to fall somewhere between £530,000 and £650,000 above the amount already committed to the project by the council," the spokesman said.

A decision is due to be made by cabinet members at a meeting on February 8.