Friday 12 April 2024
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New adventure facilities in Nottinghamshire expected to be £700,000 over budget

Rising costs of steel and timber will mean new adventure facilities near King’s Mill Reservoir in Sutton-in-Ashfield will cost almost £700,000 more than expected.

Nottinghamshire County Council documents have revealed the improved facilities, at the Mill Adventure Base, are now expected to cost £2.143m to deliver.

This is £680,970 more than the original £1.462m budget, with inflation and increased project development costs driving spending up for the new welcome centre, zip wire, aqua park and adventure course.

The documents state that inflationary pressures account for £348,000 of the rise, with the cost of materials facing “significant and steep increases” since the project was first priced.

A highrope structure is being created using steel, with costs for the works increasing by about 35 per cent.

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Further design works have driven costs up by £333,000, with an on-site building structure designed to include a reception area, refreshments, storage lockers, changing areas and shower facilities.

Extra costs for longer power and water connections have also caused costs to rise.

In a report, Colin Pettigrew, corporate director for children and families, said extra cash will be needed but believes the facilities will pay for themselves.

He said:  “The cost of steel and timber has seen significant and steep increases since the project was priced at the feasibility stage.

“As the high ropes structure being built is predominantly from steel, this project has felt the inflationary pressure with the cost of the steel package for the works increasing by approximately 35 per cent.

“As the project has progressed, the scope and design has developed, particularly following the site surveys.”

He added: “The [council] remains confident that the development
will significantly enhance a new customer base, and therefore [offers] an opportunity to generate significant income.”

Councillor Richard Jackson (Con), portfolio holder for finance, will be recommended to allocate the extra funding during a delegated decision on September 15.

The new facilities follow separate significant improvements to the adventure base in recent years.

Previous works, completed in 2021, saw a replacement climbing tower built near the reservoir.

It coupled investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund to improve the existing cafe and add “panoramic views” across the popular nature site.

The Conservative-led authority, which is working together with Ashfield District Council as the site’s landlord, aims to make the facilities “self-financing” once works are complete.

A new lease agreement between both authorities was reached earlier this year which saw the county council paying more to the district council for extra land.

Cllr Samantha Deakin (Ash Ind), who represents the area on both councils, previously welcomed the redevelopment work.

She said: “I’m extremely proud of the work that is being done at King’s Mill Reservoir.

“I’m sure that this will be a turning point in Ashfield’s visitor economy, as well as benefiting wildlife and activity participation.”

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