Cost of Blackpool Council spending on consultants is revealed

External consultants have been used on the tramway development
External consultants have been used on the tramway development
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Blackpool Council spent £700,000 less on external consultants last year compared to the previous 12 months, new figures have revealed.

A report to the council's tourism, economy and resources committee shows £1.6m had been spent on external consultants in 2017/18 - a decrease from £2.3m in 2016/17.

Director of resources Steve Thompson said the majority of the spending, a total of £800,000, went on consultants for the tramway and museum schemes.

He said the amount "depends on the magnitude of the capital programme in any year."

Mr Thompson's report to the committee said the council would be unable to deliver its capital programme without taking expert advice.

He adds: "For some projects, the use of consultants is critical.

"Taking the museum and the tramway extension as examples, in both cases, the funding we have received from external agencies requires us to appoint certain experts to ensure the security of the funding.

"These may be specialists that are recommended by the funders as having

specific skills such as a heritage architect or a heritage structural engineer.

"Because these services are project specific, demand is not constant and employing these experts on a full-time basis would not be cost effective."