South Scotland

DG One centre independent inquiry costs revealed

DG One works
Image caption The independent inquiry into the construction flaws should be completed by March 2018

An independent inquiry into construction flaws at the DG One leisure centre in Dumfries will cost about £250,000.

A timetable for the investigation will go before Dumfries and Galloway Council next week.

It is hoped a full report on the situation can be presented to the local authority in March next year.

Earlier this year the council revealed repairs on the building were set to run at least £3m over their £10m budget.

That prompted the decision to carry out an "independent, comprehensive and unfettered" investigation.

Councillors are being asked to agree the wide-ranging remit of the inquiry which would include:

  • the council's leadership and management of both the original and the repairs project
  • the rationale behind the design and build contract
  • contractual arrangements between Keir Northern and the council
  • the authority's handling of the problems with the facility since 2009
  • why the issues facing the project were not discovered earlier
  • advice on wider lessons to be learned

The Health and Safety Executive was asked to look at the situation but it confirmed earlier this month it would not be doing so.

However, the scope and remit of an independent inquiry is now set to be agreed.

DG One opened in 2008 but a string of problems led to its complete closure in 2014.

'Absolutely shocking'

A long-running legal wrangle meant it took nearly two years before the council reached a settlement with original contractors to allow the current repairs programme to begin with a different firm.

It has unearthed further problems which council leader Elaine Murray described as "absolutely shocking".

Councillors decided in July to continue the repairs programme despite seeing the costs rise significantly.

Details of the full scale of those costs have yet to be revealed but they are at least £3m over budget.

If councillors agree to the remit of the inquiry it would start this month with a final report expected in March 2018.

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