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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Tuesday, 5 March, 2002, 13:34 GMT
Sinking science tower shut for repairs
Science centre and tower (
The tower will be shut for "several" weeks
The Millennium Tower at the Glasgow Science Centre in Scotland will remain shut for at least two months after it was found to have sunk.

The 190-metres-tall (360 feet) tower was closed after it slipped out of alignment because of damage to two bearings in the base mechanism.

It's disappointing but we're having remedial work done and in the meantime we apologise for any inconvenience to the public

Science centre spokesman
The centre's David Grimmer said the problem, which was discovered by maintenance staff, could not be repaired until new parts were delivered.

Mr Grimmer said the parts were expected to take between six and eight weeks to arrive, meaning the 10m tower would be out of bounds to the public until mid to late Spring.

"There's a fault with one of the bearings," a spokesman said. "It's moved out of alignment by about 15 millimetres.

"Investigations are being carried out on the base. We called in builders because we could tell by looking at it something was wrong.

"There was excessive leaking and excessive wear on the chains at the top.

Rotating tower

"It's disappointing but we're having remedial work done and in the meantime we apologise for any inconvenience to the public."

The repairs to the tower, which is designed to rotate in prevailing winds, are expected to cost about 75,000.

Science centre tower
The science centre has had a troubled start
The Queen formally opened the 75m science centre last July after a troubled start for the attraction.

The tower itself was opened last October after a series of construction delays, including the discovery that the glass lifts were too heavy.

In early October, Glasgow Lord Provost Alex Mosson visited the Tower and again the lifts were found not to be working.

The centre was forced to close only one day after opening when it emerged that the Science Mall did not have a vital permit.

Interactive exhibits

An estimated 1,000 visitors arrived for the attraction's first day - but could not be charged an entrance fee because of the delay in securing a public entertainment licence.

The Science Mall is the centrepiece attraction of the Glasgow Science Centre and is expected to attract up to 600,000 visitors a year.

Its four floors house hundreds of interactive exhibits made up of light beams, mirrors, optical illusions, audio and computer displays, and water tanks.

The mall and the adjacent Imax theatre, which opened last October, are the first titanium-clad buildings in the UK.

BBC Scotland's Isabel Fraser reports
"The development has had its ups and downs"
David Grimmer of the Glasgow Science Centre
"During routine maintenance we identified a problem with bearings at the foot of the tower"
See also:

05 Jul 01 | Scotland
Queen opens city science centre
27 Jun 01 | Scotland
Science centre fails permit test
22 Jun 01 | Scotland
Science centre is one day wonder
19 Jun 01 | Sci/Tech
Science on the Clyde
02 Oct 00 | Scotland
Park promises jobs boost
30 Jun 01 | Scotland
Hundreds flock to science centre
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