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

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

Monday, 30th January 2017, 10:43 am
Updated Monday, 30th January 2017, 10:53 am
The cost of the restoration work at Delapre Abbey is now approaching 8 million

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.

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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.