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Firm lined up for DG One repairs

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By Rod Edgar
Dumfries and West
Firm lined up for DG One repairs

A CONTRACTOR has been lined up to undertake extensive works on Dumfries’ mothballed leisure centre DG One, it has been revealed.

The deal with McLaughlin and Harvey Ltd to tackle a range of issues comes as a Freedom of Information request reveals a £9.9 million cost for the remedial works –  as the number of facility members has fallen to just 387.
Council leader Ronnie Nicholson yesterday said: “I am pleased that we are about to conclude this contract with McLaughlin and Harvey Limited, an internationally renowned company with 160 years of experience in delivering quality construction projects.”
The arrangement comes after a settlement of legal action against Kier Construction Ltd, who constructed the troubled £17 million facility in Hoods Loaning which opened in 2008.
Work to address both external and internal defects will include replacement of roof areas, full-scale replacement of external cladding, installing water proofing measures, extensive work to the pools, renewal of internal finishes and installation of fire/temperature partitioning between dry and wet sides throughout.
Councillor Nicholson says he has been ‘frustrated and angered’ by the drawn out legal processes.
But he said: “The success of the legal action means we are now in a position not only to deliver the remedial work needed to DG One but deliver a whole range of new services in a fully refurbished and significantly improved facility.”
He added: “We have spoken in detail to DG One customers and there will be changes in layout within the centre, as well as upgrades to the gym and studio facilities, and a new and improved catering experience.”
When the settlement with Kier was announced last month plans were revealed to house NHS staff and services on site.
But while gym facilities at Loreburn Hall and a pool at Dumfries Ice Bowl has filled in for DG One during its closure, a Freedom of Information request by the BBC has revealed falling membership \_ down 70 per cent from a peak of 1415 in 2009 to 387 this year.
Councillor Nicholson notes usage of the temporary facilities has increased since they opened, and he said: “Fitness membership numbers still continue to be challenging given the level of competition from the private sector.”
Remedial works at DG One are expected to begin in September, with the facility not expected to reopen until 2018 at the earliest.

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