Plans to appoint architect and contractor put on hold as project loses £45m in government funding

The future of the British Film Institute’s £90m headquarters and film centre is in doubt after the Department of Culture, Media and Sport announced they were cutting £45m of funding for the project.

The BFI said that they were still behind the new building, planned for the South Bank in London, but that their original plans to appoint architects had been shelved.

In a statement, the BFI said: “We had already anticipated that the government would not be able to afford investment in the BFI Film Centre at this time and knew that we would face a challenge on the project, but we remain committed to taking it forward.”

The Institute had planned to appoint an architect in October and a contractor by 2013, but Nick Mason Pearson, director of press and public affairs at the BFI, said that there was now no planned date to begin appointing firms to the project.

“The original schedule is pretty much now gone,” he said, and added that the BFI was writing to architects telling them that there would not be a bidding process for the project later in the year.

“It’s unfair to them to keep them hanging on,” he said.

However the£215mTate Modern extension was approved in yesterday’s review.

The development, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, began in January and is due to be completed in 2012.