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Holyrood still a year away from completion

THE TROUBLED £400 million Scottish Parliament project is still more than a year away from completion, presiding officer George Reid warned MSPs last week.

In his latest progress report on the scheme, Mr Reid said that landscaping at the Holyrood site would not be finished until the end of August 2004 - nine months after the original deadline of November 2003.

Bovis Lend Lease is due to hand over the building next July.

Although £4.6 million has been saved by fee settlements with consultants EMBT, RMJM, Arup and Davis Langdon & Everest, Mr Reid reported that the delay would have 'cost implications' for the project.

Window contractor Drawn Metal could not fit 24 windows a week as planned because of additional blast-proofing work on the chamber and lightwell areas of the building.

This caused a knock-on delay for glazing firm Mero, which was unable to work in the lightwell area.

Mr Reid added: 'The delay presents the parliament with a number of issues if migration to Holyrood is to be postponed until the summer 2004 recess.

'The implications of this are now being examined by officials as a matter of urgency.'