South Scotland

Dumfries DG One leisure centre repairs work wait finally over

DG One site
Image caption The DG one site closed its doors for repairs in October 2014

An agreement has been reached to let remedial work begin at a multi-million pound leisure centre nearly 600 days after it shut for repairs.

The DG One site in Dumfries was closed in October 2014.

However, an ongoing legal wrangle between Dumfries and Galloway Council and Kier Construction meant work could not proceed.

They have now reached a confidential settlement and a contractor for the repairs should be named in a fortnight.

The council said the situation had also allowed an opportunity to look at the original building and make "some amendments" to its current design.

Discussions are investigating the possibility of a rehabilitation or physiotherapy facility.

Image caption Repairs work is not expected to be fully completed before the start of 2018

Council leader Ronnie Nicholson said: "This has been a frustrating time, particularly for the users of DG One, and the confidential nature of the legal process has also meant we have not been able to comment as often as we would have liked.

"However, that sensible approach has delivered this settlement and the agreement is a massive step forward.

"Although this was a problem I inherited when I became council leader, I am determined to ensure that local people will have a DG One we can be proud of."

Analysis: Giancarlo Rinaldi, BBC news website south Scotland reporter

An end is in sight for the long-running saga of the DG One leisure centre in Dumfries.

Dogged with problems from the moment it opened in 2008, it seemed the troubled tale was approaching its conclusion when the site shut for major repairs in 2014.

However, protracted legal negotiations meant the centre sat empty and no works could begin.

In the meantime, the multi-million pound building has struck an ever more forlorn figure.

It has taken almost exactly 600 days for a deal to be agreed.

The details are confidential but previous estimates put the repairs bill at anywhere between £6m and £10m.

A contractor to carry out the major overhaul should be appointed within a couple of weeks.

But it will be at least another year and a half before Doonhamers get their flagship swimming pool, gym and entertainment facility back.

Nigel Brook, Kier executive director for construction and infrastructure services, said it was the conclusion of a "professional and successful mediation process".

"We are pleased that a settlement has been reached between both parties to fund remedial works," he said.

"As a result of concluding the mediation Kier will have no further involvement in DG One, and having reached an agreed settlement, the council is now able to progress with the work."

In the meantime, temporary gym facilities at the Loreburn Hall and a swimming pool at Dumfries Ice Bowl will continue to be provided until DG One reopens.

The scale of the work involved means that is unlikely to happen before the start of 2018.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites