SALISBURY City Council is set to run almost half a million pounds over budget this year.

A large part of the predicted £467,211 overspend is due to two major projects taking longer to complete than planned – the Market Place and crematorium refurbishments.

The final figures will not be known until the end of the financial year, but the latest predictions have almost tripled since the previous report in November, when officers predicted an overspend of about £160,000.

A report to the city council’s policy and resources committee on Monday night showed the predicted drop in income from the Charter Market due to the refurbishment now looks as if it will be £96,220.

The Wiltshire Council project took longer than expected so had a greater impact on the income to the city council from rent paid by stallholders as the city council gave the market traders a 25 per cent discount during the work.

The work was expected to finish last September but was not completed until last month.

Deputy clerk Annie Child said the market is now picking up again and traders are coming back.

Much needed work to refurbish the city’s crematorium and replace its cremators to bring it in line with EU regulations on mercury abatement was also delayed after English Heritage listed the building at the last minute.

The move meant the council had to go through the process of getting planning permission again, delaying the start of the work so that it had to take place during the crematorium’s busier time of year.

The council also has to pay about £30,000 in CAMEO (Crematoria Abatement of Mercury Emissions Organisation) fines for non-abated cremation that took place last year. In total, the predicted loss of income from the crematorium has now risen to £280,417.

Ms Child said: “Since the new crematorium opened things are picking up already and all the funeral directors and mourners are delighted with the new facilities. “It’s unfortunate that both these things happened in the same year but things are improving now.”