Vilnius Municipality has extended an olive branch to the Public Procurement Office (VPT) in an effort to get a new Lithuanian national stadium project back on course, after a court ruled that it could recommence a tender process.

Anchored by a new 15,000-seat stadium, the multi-faceted project was suspended back in May after the VPT took action against a proposed concession agreement with Axis Industries, the winning bidder, and BaltCap, the financial investor in the project.

According to state broadcaster LRT, the construction of the stadium and other facilities was projected to cost around €93.2m (£83.3m/$110.6m). However, BaltCap was to receive a total of almost €156m after Vilnius’ authorities chose to spread out the payments over 25 years.

Law-enforcement bodies wanted to assess whether the increase in the value of the concession contract was substantiated and lawful. However, Vilnius Regional Court has annulled the VPT’s order for the city to terminate the process, ruling that the authority had no grounds to claim that the project did not meet the criteria for a concession contract.

VPT is reported to be considering an appeal against the verdict, but Vilnius Municipality has proposed a “peace agreement” whereby it will also the abolish the court’s determination that the Public Procurement Office would be liable for its legal costs.

Povilas Poderskis, director of the Vilnius City Municipality Administration, said in a statement: “The two state institutions litigating in court is not in the interest of the country’s citizens. It does not produce any productive result. 

“After assessing how much time and resources have been invested in the development of the Multifunctional Complex project, and how important it is for the city of Vilnius, we offer the VPN the most optimal version of the outcome of this dispute. We hope that the VPT will choose this path, not the continuation of court disputes and even greater losses for Vilnius residents.”

Designed by Lithuania’s Cloud Architektai studio, the project was originally intended to be completed in 2023, also comprising 15 other sports facilities.

Image: Cloud Architektai