AN investigation into a project which brought See Monster to Weston has concluded the festival stayed within budget 'as a whole' but warned final costs are not yet known.

In a report published by the National Audit Office (NAO) yesterday, December 1, inspectors found the art exhibition displayed at the Tropicana for eight weeks cost the taxpayer £10.5million. 

However it stressed this figure was simply the contract's value when signed and total costs for the attraction are not yet available. 

This places See Monster as the most expensive of the ten major Unboxed projects held across the country, with Dreamachine - an 'immersive display of imagination' - in at second place for £8.6million. 

READ MORE: Spending watchdog to investigate Unboxed

The report concluded the £120million festival will remain within budget and generally met audience targets set out earlier this year but these were lower than targets touted when the project was approved in 2021. 

In September, chair of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee in Parliament, Julian Knight MP, called for an investigation into the financial management and delivery of the Unboxed festival, slamming it as a 'monumental waste of taxpayer's money'.

He's now expressed frustration with the NAO report saying it has 'carried out the investigation with one hand tied behind its back'.

"The goalposts have shifted on audience engagement targets and it is simply not on for organisers to tell a select committee one number, only to later claim this was more of a ‘creative device’ to boost interest," the MP said.

"It is now absolutely vital that the evaluation planned for early next year is as full and transparent as possible."

READ MORE: See Monster: Was it worth the hype?

The committee has confirmed it will later hold an evidence session with government and the Unboxed management team.

The NAO also said Unboxed should provide a 'full picture' of each project's value for money and 'identify lessons for the future of how projects have performed against their targets, including on cost and attendance'.

A complete evaluation of the festival with final costs is to be published by Unboxed in March next year.