£18m may not be enough for Allander Leisure centre

GV off allander'em'27/1/09
GV off allander'em'27/1/09

COUNCIL leader Rhondda Geekie said the commitment to spend £18million on a replacement Allander Leisure centre was only an ‘indicative figure’ and may have to be revised.

Following a recent budget meeting the money was earmarked from the capital programme over the next 10 years.

However, concern has been raised that this may not be enough money to replace the existing centre with one that has an indoor bowling green.

The council is currently in discussions with Cala Homes over developing the Kilmardinny strip which includes relocating the Allander, with a contribution of £10m from the developer factored into the total cost of replacing the centre.

Councillor Geekie said: “It would be remiss of us not to have an indicative figure for replacing the Allander. This is not a final figure. We are not sure of the exact figure.

“If it comes out at £19m we will find that extra million. That is the thing about capital spend, it can go up and it can go down.

“The council are wanting a like for like replacement, if that is what the user groups want.

“We will be consulting with these groups to find out what they want.”

Gordon Cox, chairperson of Kilmardinny West Park Action Group (KWAG) said: “We definitely want a like for like replacement and that includes an indoor bowling green.

“We are just asking for a building with the same facilities up to modern standards. At a meeting in December 2011 the ball park figure for replacing the centre with an indoor bowling green was put at £19.6m, so on the face of it £18m does not include and indoor bowling facility.”

And he added: “I am not discouraged by the £18m, but a little bit concerned.”

The money is part of a wider funding package of more than £144m across the whole of East Dunbartonshire. It was welcomed by Bearsden North councillor Duncan Cumming, although he was concerned the present centre should be maintained until a replacement has been agreed on and also that the facilities should be comparable with the old one.

He said: “If and when a new Allander is built it must be like for like. We still have a lot of work to do, but I welcome continued dialogue between the council and the community.”