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Saturday, 23 November, 2002, 10:49 GMT
Row over science tower woes
Science centre and tower (freefoto.com)
The centre has not had its troubles to seek
Wrangling over who is liable for problems with the Glasgow Science Centre tower has been pushing the project further into debt, BBC Scotland understands.

Visitor numbers have fallen since the tower was closed nine months ago when it started sinking after the 360 feet structure slipped out of alignment because of damage to two bearings in the base mechanism.

Losses for the year are running at 0.75m after the centre posted a 1.25m shortfall in 2001.

In a statement the centre said it was looking to finalise repairs as soon as possible, though it could not comment on legal matters.


We are looking to finalise a course of repairs which should see the tower operational again early next year

Science Centre

Local Labour MSP Gordon Jackson said the tower should be fixed to restore one of Glasgow's biggest attractions.

He said: "This is a wonderful asset for the city but it is no good if the visitors aren't coming in the way they should.

"If we need to put public money in the short term, then so be it.

"That will have to be sorted out in due course, but to leave it like this constantly losing money or to mothball it is simply not the way forward."

A spokesman for the centre said: "We are looking to finalise a course of repairs which should see the tower operational again early next year but in the light of unique technical challenges faced, it would be unwise to announce a firm re-opening date.

'Complex issue'

"We also can't comment at present on any legal issues surrounding the tower."

Rod McKenzie, a contracts specialist with Harper McLeod, said something akin to a blame game was being played out.

He said: "In that situation you have a complex issue of who is to blame, the extent to which different people are to blame and who is going to accept legal liability."

The Queen formally opened the 75m science centre in July 2001 after a troubled start for the attraction.

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.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Bob Wylie reports
"Construction companies are in dispute over who is liable for the problems"
See also:

13 May 02 | Scotland
05 Jul 01 | Scotland
27 Jun 01 | Scotland
22 Jun 01 | Scotland
19 Jun 01 | Science/Nature
02 Oct 00 | Scotland
30 Jun 01 | Scotland
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