Client Shetland Arts issued a statement yesterday expressing its “frustration” and “disappointment” over the latest delays to the Mareel centre being built by contractor DITT in North Ness.
Work started in May 2009 and was originally due to be completed in spring 2011.
Shetland Arts was working to a revised opening date of May 25 but that is not now expected to be met following a progress report at a site meeting last week.
The organisation said: “The Board of Shetland Arts has concluded that it cannot confirm any dates in relation to the opening of Mareel or subsequent events until DITT Construction Ltd hand over a fully completed building.
“This difficult decision comes after carefully reviewing the information available and taking into account previous multiple assurances of completion dates followed by notification of significant delays.
“There are many rumours circulating regarding reasons for construction delays, including recent claims by DITT Construction Ltd on specific aspects of the construction.
“It is the view of Shetland Arts that it is unprofessional to play out contractual issues within the public arena.
“Such issues should be dealt with either pre or post completion of the contract through due process between Shetland Arts, our professional advisers, and our contractor.”
The statement sparked an immediate response from DITT who claim the delays are down to numerous design changes.
DITT director Peter Tait told the Shetland Times: “Shetland Arts state that they do not wish to play out contractual issues within the public arena, but by their actions today have chosen to do so.
“Whilst a date was given to Shetland Arts regarding a completion date, the arts trust have conveniently chosen to ignore the fact that the date was subject to no further instructions or additional works being instructed by their design team.
“Disappointingly for the progress of the project, since 14th November a number of significant changes have been instructed. Design changes at this stage of a project inevitably impact on the completion date.”