Council bosses are unable to reveal when work could start on the revamp of a popular Aberdeen swimming pool – despite it shutting its doors a year ago.
Work is yet to begin on the multi-million-pound revamp of Northfield Swimming Pool, which was first announced in March last year.
In a letter seen by the Evening Express, Steven Whyte, Aberdeen City Council’s director of resources, reveals it will “not be possible” to provide timescales for the project until a business case is completed.
Aberdeen Donside MSP Mark McDonald said: “The refurbishment of Northfield Pool was announced to great fanfare by the council and was supposed to show their commitment to delivering modern sporting facilities in the city.
“We now find that, more than a year later, there has been no progress and there never was a budget attached to the announcement.
“This is absolutely scandalous and the people of Northfield are due an explanation from the council leadership as to why they have seen their facility effectively mothballed when it ought to have been being refurbished and renewed as promised.
“The administration leadership must now set out a clear and unambiguous timescale for the pool to be refurbished and reopened.
Douglas Lumsden, co-leader of Aberdeen City Council, said: “I can confirm that the council remain committed to refurbishing the swimming pool at Northfield and have allocated £1 million in capital to ensure its progression.
“The only reason the Northfield pool is closed now is because when Mark McDonald was a councillor he and his SNP colleagues failed to invest in any sport facilities in Aberdeen.”
Jackie Dunbar, SNP councillor for the area, said the fact the Tory-led administration made the decision to cut the Sport Aberdeen budget earlier this week, showed sport is “not a priority” for them.
She added: “The swimming pool is a great asset to Northfield and the wider community and I’m sure a number of people would like to see the pool back in action.”
The administration reduced the budget of the arms-length organisation, which manages sport facilities on behalf of the council, by £550,000 in its latest budget.
The facility was closed in March 2018 after technical and electrical problems.
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An Aberdeen City Council spokesman said: “Given the scale of the refurbishment proposed by Sport Aberdeen, the funding is subject to European procurement proposals which must be adhered to by all parties involved and only upon completion of design work.
“We are also providing officer support to Sport Aberdeen and the project has progressed significantly over the last 12 months as we now move into preparing the final business case which will allow us to understand the timelines involved.”
Sport Aberdeen was unable to provide comment as it said the council is responsible for managing the refurbishment project.