COUNCIL bosses have been forced to pay out tens of thousands of pounds in compensation after botching the granting of a contract to revamp the Kelvin Hall.

Officials admitted the pay-out after The Evening Times yesterday revealed the West End venue would close this summer to be turned in to one of Britain's biggest museums.

The council made an undisclosed "compensatory payment" to a firm of architects last year after appointing the wrong company to redesign the building, in what officials said was a procurement mix-up.

A second company, Gardiner and Theobald, a major London-based consultancy, was given the job.

A senior council executive, in an email seen by the Evening Times, said the first firm, which has not been named, had been, "paid for the services they provided and also received a compensatory payment in recognition of the disruption and handover to Gardiner and Theobald".

There is no suggestion that the mix-up was anything other than simple human error.

Opposition leader Graeme Hendry said he linked the compensation deal, understood to run in to tens of thousands of pounds, to other high-profile problems besetting city leader Gordon Matheson.

He said: "It is very disappointing to have found out that the council had to pay out a large sum of money in compensation.

"In the last year Councillor Matheson has presided over failures right through the council, from this wasted money to the hundreds of thousands wasted on George Square, the six figure fine due from the Information Commissioner, for personal data being lost."

A council spokesman said: "There was a mix-up in procurement and the wrong firm was appointed initially.

"The company which was incorrectly appointed was paid for the work they carried out under the contract.

"That work was then passed on for completion to the company which should have been appointed under the procurement procedure."

As we reported yesterday, the Kelvin Hall will shut in July for the first £25m phase of its redevelopment, the creation of a new exhibition and study centre.