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Government Cuts Hit Landmark Projects

Cutbacks in British government spending are finally starting to bite in a noticeable way with a number of landmark projects canceled or put on indefinite hold.

Immediately cancelled will be the replacement Stonehenge Visitor Centre by Denton Corker Marshall which the previous government had allocated £25 million to, although given the criticism the project has received and the years of delays this is hardly a surprise. Nonetheless, the £25 million in savings are less than the total tax revenue the centre is supposed to generate over the next three years.

Meanwhile, the 58.3 metre tall approved Birmingham Magistrates Court has had £94 million of its funding suspended. The project to stand on 9 Masshouse Plaza has also been designed by Denton Corker Marshall and was being developed by Her Majesties Court Service who saw the scheme as a rival in size and scale to their recently completed, and successful, court in Manchester. The building would have rationalised the court services in Birmingham and over a 20 year period saved far more than it cost.

£12 million in funding has also been halted on the New Retail Quarter in Sheffield, although it is only a fraction of the total size of the £500 million development that Hammerson is planning. It could however be the difference between the project being realised or not, and the sale and demolition of several buildings in the area including the Grosvenor House Hotel and Department For Education and Skills, which are dependent on the development going ahead would raise a greater sum than the cuts.

Firms potentially affected include ACME, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, Building Design Partnership, Foreign Office Architects who have designed a tower on Cambridge Stret, Charter Square and Bethel Walk, Gillespies, HawkinsBrown, O’Donnell + Tuomey who have penned a 25,000 square metre landmark John Lewis store, Pick Everard and Stiff + Trevillion. Thousands of redundancies are expected through the construction industry as a result costing the British government an average of £11,500 per person.

If the critics are to be believed, the end result of these cuts and the general freezing of government capital expenditure will be to suck demand out of the economy just as it's recovering from the credit crunch and plunge us back into recession.

Article Related buildings:

Birmingham Magistrates Court

Birmingham Magistrates Court
New Retail Quarter Block 5

New Retail Quarter Block 5
Magistrates Court, Birmingham
Magistrates Court, Birmingham
New Retail Quarter, Sheffield
New Retail Quarter, Sheffield