Published: 10:44, 15 September 2021
| Updated: 10:57, 15 September 2021
The flagship Market Square revamp could cost £500,000 more than thought.
But one partner explains it can't afford the extra £12,000 it is being asked for to help cover this.
And a town council is being asked to give another £10,000 - having already paid £45,000.
Dover town councillors will vote on whether to give that sum at their full meeting tonight (Wednesday).
A report by town officers to members said: "Forecasted costs, if other partner organisations and interested parties do not contibute, now exceed the agreed finding by a figure in the region of £500k."
This means the bill is now expected to be £3.57 million.
Dover District Council, as project manager, is asking for the money and says: "This is a worst case scenario if contingency budget is utilised in full and other elements factored in unfortunately come to a head."
DDC has also asked others partners, Kent County Council and the business group Dover Town Team to contribute but says it is prepared to cover a shortfall.
The town council report says that KCC has no so far responded to this request.
But it adds: "Dover Town Team is declining to contribute while questioning the level of funding required for some named items in the requested £12k such as £5k for the opening ceremony and £2k for the communications plan."
Expenses have become higher than predicted in areas such as the archaeological examination of the site before work starts.
It was thought Canterbury Archaeological Trust would need £23,500 but now the cost for them is put at £115,000.
The project has also changed from the original plan of an open piazza with a fountain similar to that in Folkestone Harbour.
Now £676,500 is allocated for tasks such as paving works, footways, traffic signs and road markings.
A soft landscaped area east of King Street is being created at a cost of £12,000 and trees in special shallow pits are estimated at £50,000.
Dover Town Team is a small volunteer-run organisation and chairman John Angell said it had previously contributed up to £10,000. It hasn't got the £12,000 asked for now.
He told Kent Online: "It's like asking a model aeroplane club to fund a jet fighter.
"Dover Town Team will do all it can to promote the project. We will continue to support this when our budget allows."
A Dover District Council spokesman said: "We continue to move forward with exciting plans for the major revamp of Dover Market Square.
"However the predicted costs have risen following a range of factors, including the need for changes following stakeholder engagement and design reviews to accommodate the rich archaeological history of the site, as well as delays caused by Covid and rising commodity prices.
"We would stress that we are still progressing the project while exploring sources of additional funding with our partners. DDC continues to manage the project on behalf of the Dover Town Team, which secured a grant of £2.44m from the Coastal Communities Fund."