North West Wales

Pontio centre delay costs Bangor University £1m

Looking towards the front of Pontio from Deiniol Road Image copyright Bangor University

A university has incurred costs of almost £1m due to delays building its arts and innovation centre in Gwynedd, it has been revealed.

The Pontio centre was supposed to open in autumn 2014, but eventually opened in December 2015.

Bangor University said the money was lost on predicted ticket sales and on cancelling shows.

The delay was "disappointing" and the "true financial position will not be known for some time", it said.

In total, predicted ticket sales to the value of £633,266 were lost due to the late opening, while £280,000 was also spent on cancelling shows and delivering an "on the road" series of events.

The losses were revealed in response to a Freedom of Information request, but the university refused to say whether construction company Galliford Try would contribute to any additional costs.

Image copyright Bangor University

In a statement issued to BBC Wales' Newyddion 9 programme, the university said: "The delay in opening Pontio was very disappointing for everyone. However, the centre is now up and running and thousands have already visited the building.

"The centre enters a new phase at the end of this month as students also begin attending lectures and the Students Union moves in to their new offices.

"Whilst there has been an inevitable cost to these delays, it is important to note that the direct costs of the productions were not incurred, neither were the projected running costs of the building during that period.

"As you would expect we continue to have discussions with the contractor, and the true financial position will not be known for some time."

Arfon AM Alun Ffred Jones said he expected more details about the final costs of Pontio's construction to come to light.

"I'm not shocked but again this is a burden for the university at a time when obviously there are other pressures on the higher education sector," he added.

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