Neilston campus project costs rise by nearly £10m

An extra £9.6m could be needed to deliver a new learning and leisure campus in Neilston – which was initially estimated to cost around £30m.

St Thomas Primary is one of the schools due to become part of the new campus in Neilston.

Councillors will be asked to approve prioritising phase one of the project, the learning facilities, when they meet tonight (Wednesday, December 16) – at an estimated cost of £28m.

The money would be taken from £30.4m allocated for the overall scheme in February this year.

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Phase two – the leisure facilities and wider regeneration work – is now predicted to cost £12m, leaving a potential £9.6m shortfall once the unallocated £2.4m is deducted.

The campus will include new-build replacements for Neilston Primary, St Thomas’ Primary, the Madras Family Centre, a new library and an improved leisure offering.

A project management team was appointed in June for the learning campus and design consultation is under way, with children, staff and parent councils involved.

The target start date for construction is in November next year, with work to be completed by June 2023.

New energy efficiency targets and the “challenging” topography of the site have led to additional costs.

The £28m, outlined in a report to councillors, is not “final” and “until the contract is tendered and let the cost may vary”.

Phase two proposals including a new swimming pool, changing village, gym, office, meeting room and car park.

A full feasibility study is yet to be completed but costs have been estimated at around £8.5m.

Another £3.5m would be required for other regeneration work in the area, which could include a new civic square on Main Street, a pedestrian crossing review in the village and a shopfront signage and painting initiative.

The council report states: “A transformational opportunity exists to better shape some of this infrastructure to meet the needs of residents and to ensure that Neilston continues as a thriving village that is both fit for a modern future but retains its village charm.”

The combined costs for the leisure campus and regeneration projects would be around £12m, reduce to £9.6m by the unallocated £2.4m remaining from the initial £30.4m.

The approved £30.4m was solely based on the learning and leisure campus, not wider regeneration plans.

A further report on potential costs will be prepared ahead of the budget setting process in February, with the council report adding “there may be an opportunity to generate capital receipts to offset the shortfall”.

All predicted costings could change due to the impact of Covid-19 and Brexit.