A project to redevelop Birmingham City Council's historic home has been shelved for the time being after estimated costs soared to £87 million.
The figure is more than three times the amount originally calculated in 2016 but since then more detailed assessments have been carried out while the scheme now also includes a £20.1 million programme of works to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
The cabinet met today (Tuesday, December 11) when it formally put the brakes on the redevelopment in light of the fact the cash-strapped authority is having to make in the region of £86 million in savings over next four years.
However, officers recommended that bosses approved £2 million to ensure the Grade II*-listed buildings are kept operational between now and 2022.
They have also declared council offices, located in the council extension fronting Margaret Street, can be vacated and leased out to generate cash.
A number of independent reports completed between 2010 and 2014 confirmed that the outdated electrics throughout the complex required replacing.
It was originally estimated this would cost around £21 million to £24 million when, in 2016, the cabinet decided full proposals should be drawn up.
But since then further site surveys and risk assessments have been carried out and the cost is now thought to be £61.3 million.
A further £20.1 million will be needed to deliver the improvements at the museum, which include enhancing accessibility within the main entrance on to Chamberlain Square, relocating the restaurant and building a new 'core' in the courtyard to improve movement around the attraction.
And another £6 million would be racked up in evacuation and storage costs.
The works would have required a three-year closure of the museum, however the managing trust confirmed that would now not happen until after 2022 at the earliest.
It is still proposed that plans to build a new multi-million pound collection centre in Yardley, to provide improved storage for collections and serve as the museum's new headquarters, move forward.
The report states: "There is a requirement to invest in the long term future of the council house complex to ensure that it will continue to function at the heart of the civic governance for the council in future years.
"Taking account of the council's current financial position the recommended proposal is to defer further works to the council house complex and agree the allocation of revenue funding (circa £2 million) up to 2022 to enable the council house complex to be kept operational.
"This reduced programme would include the requirement for further ongoing testing (to comply with Electricity at Work Act) and the likelihood that further remedial works will be required to the electrical and mechanical installations to ensure that the council house complex remains operational during this period, which is anticipated to be four to five years."