Page last updated at 17:30 GMT, Thursday, 1 May 2008 18:30 UK

Cost of steel delays sport centre

Graphic of sports centre
Work on the sports facility will be delayed by seven weeks

The rising cost of steel has been blamed for the delay to construction on the planned 29m regional sports facility at Ravenscraig.

Work was due to begin this summer but has been put back by seven weeks while North Lanarkshire council considered ways to cut costs.

The budget for the facility is capped at 29m, with 25m allocated to construction.

The local authority said the centre should be completed by early 2010.

The sporting venue, which is being built on the site of the former Ravenscraig steelworks, is in the running for selection as a pre-games training camp for the London 2012 Olympic and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

It would also play a major role if Lanarkshire's bid to host the International Children's Games in 2011 is successful.

Construction costs

The council said it was looking at ways to reduce construction costs, including redesigning elements of the building.

Lizanne McMurrich, head of community information and learning at North Lanarkshire Council, said: "North Lanarkshire Council will continue to work with its partners to facilitate and progress the development of the national sports facility at Ravenscraig.

"We remain absolutely confident that it will, when complete, offer superb sporting and leisure facilities and opportunities to the people of North Lanarkshire and Scotland as a whole."

Ravenscraig Limited, the company behind the 1.2bn development of the new town regeneration scheme, said it did not think the rising cost of steel would affect other parts of the project, such as the creation of 820 homes and a new campus for Motherwell College.

The sports facility will feature full-size indoor and outdoor football pitches, a sports hall, an athletics track and a dance studio.

There will also be six floodlit, synthetic five-a-side outdoor pitches, a state-of-the-art gym and an indoor soft play area.

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