Wales

Rising costs delay £13m Brecknock Museum revamp

Brecknock Museum and Art Gallery Image copyright Google
Image caption The project is being part funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Welsh Government

Rising costs are continuing to delay the opening of a £13m cultural centre at Brecon in Powys.

Brecknock Museum and Art Gallery should have re-opened by now, with an official opening set for St David's Day.

Problems were discussed in a private meeting of the project board, according to minutes given to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).

Councillor Rachel Powell said support to find an extra £200,000 was "very limited".

Called Y Gaer (The Fort), the new centre will incorporate the town's library, at a time when the council is seeking volunteers or town councils to take over the running of 10 smaller libraries.

The minutes reveal Powys County Council noted that a delayed handover will allow "time to attain the £200,000" and that "the timing is very sensitive" in view of the consultation on the future of other libraries.

Fears of rising damp from water entering the cafe wall were also highlighted, and air leakage could mean the building would not be rated as "excellent" for energy efficiency.

Asked to comment, Ms Powell told the LDRS: "We hope that this long-term project will be nearing completion and we look forward to sharing the opening with invested groups and cultural partners, who have supported Y Gaer."

She added that it would operate with "a professional staffing structure" but also "strong interest" from local volunteering representatives.

Dr Mervyn Bramley from the Brecknock Society said it was working closely with the council "in preparing for the opening to the public which we are confident will take place in the spring".

Last year, building work was held up when stone needed for the project could not be accessed as it was close to a puffin sanctuary.

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