COUNCILS in the Glasgow City Region have told the Scottish and UK Governments there is a need for flexibility in City Deal projects to combat the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The eight local authorities, across Glasgow and the Clyde Valley, believe delays caused by the pandemic will "create pressure" to meet the current programme completion date of 2025 and an extension may be required.

They also suggest more funding could be required from both Governments to cover additional costs related to the pandemic.

A £250m portion of the City Deal, which is funded by the two Governments, was recently released after the first of three gateway reviews, to take place over the 20 years of the deal, was passed.

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The Governments sent a letter to the Glasgow City Region Programme Management Office on April 30, recognising the "unprecedented pressures" caused by Covid-19.

The neighbouring councils have put together a draft response to be considered by the Scottish City Growth and Deal Delivery Board.

However, the Glasgow City Region Cabinet will meet on Tuesday and members will be able to add to the response before it is resubmitted.

A report to that meeting states: "They communicated their ongoing support for the City Deal and to working in partnership with the region to ensure our deal funding delivers maximum economic impact, both in the immediate future and as we move into the recovery phase of this crisis."

In a telelconference with City Deal representatives on May 21, the governments reported they expected most projects across Scotland which had already been approved would still progress, although could be altered.

They also said there was no plan to increase funding at this stage, the report states.

The draft response from the councils states: "The significant additional costs resulting from compliance with Covid-19 advice, guidance and legislation, including from the shut-down of construction sites following government advice, will be very difficult to absorb within existing City Deal project budgets.

"As a result, most member authorities have suggested the creation of a Covid-19 City Deal top-up-fund to assist all projects with covering extra costs/loss of income resulting from the need to comply with government Covid-19 guidance."

It also suggests additional funding for new projects to support the Covid-19 response.

The response states business failures will negatively impact on the number of active consultants/contractors able to respond to future procurement activity.

It also reports the main contractor for one project has gone into administration, resulting in additional costs, which have yet to be worked out, and a delay.

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And a number of authorities believe there will be "significant added financial pressures" on construction contracts as companies "seek to pass on the additional costs they face due to lower productivity levels" as result of social distancing, the risk of future lockdowns and material costs as supply chains are impacted.

The councils raise the issue of large contractors, which serve Scotland and England, working to different sets of rules.

Further concerns include the constraints on public consultation, with a greater reliance on virtual meetings and social media.

One authority reported some designs will be looked at again to reflect "emerging" active travel issues, like more space for cycling, which could lead to additional costs.

There has also been difficulties gathering field data, such as traffic surveys, during the lockdown.

The response adds "demand for commercial office space may require to be reviewed in light of potential longer-term changes which may result from the increase in home working" and the suitability of a number of transport projects could be reviewed "in light of potential significant changes to travel patterns".