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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 December, 2003, 18:18 GMT
Leisure centre 'needs 14m' - report
Swansea Leisure Centre
All three boilers, the air conditioning and the electrics need repairing
Specialist engineers have dismissed claims by campaigners that Swansea Leisure Centre could be re-opened for 5m.

A 500-page structural report on the building has been put on show to the public by Swansea Council.

One of the first to see it was campaigner Gerald Murphy who claims estimates that 14m is needed to bring the centre up to scratch are misleading.

"I have seen the document and the extracts from the document on the leisure centre and in my estimation it could be put back for about 5m," he said.

But the company behind the structural report, Davis, Langdon & Everest, said its conclusion was that even if 14m was spent it would only keep the building open for another five years.

The roof needs replacing along with the boilers and swimming pool surrounds, the report says.

It's the replacement of the plant and the electrical wiring that is going to cost 14m
Lawrence Bailey

In addition all the electrical wiring would need to be ripped out and replaced.

The 14m estimate only covers essential works so it says even if the money was spent then the council would still be left with a shabby-looking building.

The company was first called in to look at every aspect of the condition of the centre, which was opened by the Queen in 1977, at the start of the year.

It says the extent of repairs needed are far beyond what was anticipated.

The centre was closed in November and the council has taken the decision it does not have the money to reopen it.

Instead the authority is looking to the private sector to build a replacement on the same site that would also include arts and conference facilities.

Many of the groups who used the leisure centre have already been found alternative homes and council leader Lawrence Bailey said he hoped concrete plans for a replacement will be ready in the new year.

Council tax

This may involve keeping some of the existing leisure centre's structure although the council says that is unlikely.

"The building itself is sound," explained Mr Bailey.

"It's the replacement of the plant and the electrical wiring that is going to cost 14m.

"We are talking about spending 14m on opening up a building for five years which is something like putting 30% on council tax.

"That is not something I think the people of Swansea want."

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