New threat to the future of the Allander

GV off allander'em'27/1/09

GV off allander'em'27/1/09

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THE future of the Allander Leisure centre in Bearsden is in question AGAIN after The Milngavie and Bearsden Herald discovered that developers have been invited to bid for building a new centre.

A resident, who works in the construction industry, spotted on the public contracts website that bidders were being invited to rebuild the leisure centre at a cost of £13 to £14 million - despite the fact that East Dunbartonshire Council has assured the public that there are no plans at present for a new building.

While Cala/Stewart Milne has been granted planning permission for the development at Kilmardinny/Westpark they do not have the land they need - the site of the Allander Leisure centre.

The developers will make a £10million contribution towards the cost of a new centre, but it’s expected to cost £17million in total and the council would need to fund the difference.

The other sticking point in the deal is that councillors and the public would like a new leisure centre to be built before the old one is demolished.

The Milngavie resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “There’s something underhand happening here.

“Does East Dunbartonshire Council intend to sell the land to Cala/Stewart Milne but they are not telling us?

“I thought East Dunbartonshire didn’t have the money to rebuild the leisure centre?”

The project to rebuild the leisure centre is part of a new scheme - the Scottish Futures Trust - an independent company established by the Scottish Government which aims to deliver value for money across public infrastructure investment.

It comes under the West hub territory which joins East Dunbartonshire with four other councils, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Strathclyde Police and many other public sector organisations.

The aim is to bring these organisations together with a private sector development partner.

A spokesperson for East Dunbartonshire Council said: “Hub members are asked to outline a list of future potential projects with indicative costs with a view to gauging interest from the construction trade.

“This is an indicative list of facilities that may be delivered through the SFT but these are not guaranteed or committed.The business of the recent meeting is well documented on this website.”

The website www.scottishfuturestrust.org.uk explains more about this process and East Dunbartonshire’s part in it.