Alloa’s temporary swimming pool could be suspended due to rising costs

PLANS for a temporary swimming pool at Alloa may be scrapped due to an increase in expected costs.

As previously reported, proposals for a temporary swimming pool at Marshhill car park have advanced to the design stage.

The move had been suggested as an interim arrangement before the new wellness center and swimming pool were built.

The plans were approved by the planning department earlier in May; however, councilors will tomorrow be asked to agree to halt development due to spiraling projected costs.

Documents to be filed for the meeting show the most recent cost plan for the interim pool rose to £3,482,230 from £2.16m previously reported.

The new figure does not include any allowance for further market inflation and it is likely that the final costs could reach £3.9m.

Expected operating costs have also increased by around 50% due to continued uncertainties surrounding the value of the pound and rising energy prices.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, deputy council leader Graham Lindsay told the Advertiser“The temporary pool has provided us with a great opportunity to reduce our costs compared to what we previously had in place for the leisure bowl.

“Going back to when I first sat down and considered this option: we were sitting at just over £1m for an interim pool provision and around £500,000 of income per year.”

The projected investment costs then rose to over £2m which was already a ‘stretch’ for the budget but the importance of having a pool in place for swimming lessons still justified the costs higher at the time for administration.

“But we knew it was pushing him financially,” Cllr Lindsay continued.

‘It is clear now, and it will not escape anyone, particularly in Clackmannanshire, that the cost of living crisis has pushed everything to a point where capital expenditure and capital costs are rising dramatically.’

The recommendation to end the development is greater than value for money and value for the taxpayer, he explained.

While councilors will be asked to drop plans, there is a commitment to ensure swimming lessons return, the council’s deputy leader said.

Council documents said planning is underway to reintroduce the P5 Learn to Swim program.

Activities continued at the Dollar Academy pool with 70 children attending each week as well as water confidence sessions at the Alloa Academy hydroelectric pool with over 50 ASN children involved.

Cllr Lindsay added: “In addition to that, we are still planning to reintroduce this P5 Learn to Swim program and we will be reporting more information about it, and where it will work from.”

He hopes to present the exact plans at the next board meeting.

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