The current estimate is £299,000. The final cost will depend on exchange rates at the time when payment is made. The work of fitting out the office should be completed by the end of May.
The initial estimate was not a fully worked out costing. The present costing reflects the price of converting open-floor space into office accommodation. The original estimate was much lower than the present one. I regret that I do not have the relevant figure before me at the moment, but I shall inform the Member in writing.
Although the Executive Office in Brussels will represent the Executive as a whole, does the First Minister accept that key sectors such as finance, agriculture and industry need to develop specific issues with the European institutions? How will these interests be catered for?
We have established an interdepartmental group chaired by the junior Ministers whose function it is in the first instance to consider the priorities of the Office. In that way we hope to ensure that the Office will reflect the interests of the Administration across all the Departments.