Trust demise ‘not our fault’

A BUILDING company boss has categorically stated that his firm was not responsible for an overspend which led to Alnwick Community Development Trust going into administration.

Ewan Paterson, managing director of Amble-based DP Builders Ltd, spoke out after the demise of the Trust was publicly blamed on factors including the ‘spiralling costs’ of creating the new youth hostel on Green Batt.

Planning permission was given last October by Northumberland County Council for the conversion of the former social services building into a 57-bed facility, which was carried out by DP. But on September 21, financial difficulties forced the Trust into administration. As well as the hostel overspend, a loss of key funding streams was also blamed for its problems.

But Mr Paterson said: “As principal contractors for the youth hostel project, we completed the project two weeks after the original contract completion date, having been granted a three-week extension for the severe weather last year and suspension of works – effectively, one week early.

“The final figure within the building contract between ourselves and the Trust had an overspend of 3.5 per cent above the original contract value. This overspend was made up of extra works added to the contract while it was under way, which we carried out in good faith.”

Mr Paterson added: “The spiralling costs mentioned may have been attributed to the project by the Trust, but they never formed any part of our contract with them.”

The Trust has now had its affairs put into the hands of Gosforth-based administrators Tait Walker. For legal reasons, no one connected to the Trust could comment.