Additional funds committed to new Belper tearooms

The Council has been seeking a suitable company to design and build a replacement Swiss Tearooms, for a fixed price of £290,000; with £190,000 provided by the Borough Council and a further £100,000 from Belper Town Council.

However, no bids were submitted that fully met the brief, view brief.

A project review has concluded that in order to provide a building of suitable quality and which fully addresses the challenges, sensitivities and risks of the River Gardens location, which is both within the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site and the floodplain of the river Derwent, it will be necessary to increase the available budget.

The Leader of the Council, Cllr Kevin Buttery, has therefore agreed to transfer unused funding from a previously proposed solar scheme for the Council’s depot, which has been unable to progress due to technical issues, to provide a revised design and build budget of £420,000.

Cllr Buttery, stated: “I am hugely disappointed that it has not been possible to secure a suitable building for the original budget of £290,000. But the compromises in terms of both the design and materials that would have been required, were unacceptable to me. Therefore, I have taken the decision to reallocate funding, to ensure that the new Swiss Tearooms will be a building of which Belper and Amber Valley can rightly be proud”.

Companies will now be invited to submit designs based on the original brief, but with the revised budget, which is anticipated will take around six weeks to conclude.

Cllr Chris Short, the Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, commented: “Whilst this delay of a few weeks is disappointing, it has to be remembered that we are seeking to provide a building, which will stand in the River Gardens for the long term and serve future generations, and so it is absolutely essential that we take the time to ensure that the design lives up to the location and heritage.” 

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