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Image: Bo'ness Recreation Centre

A report to a meeting of Falkirk Council next week (31st January) will put forward a recommendation that Bo’ness Recreation Centre is closed as soon as possible due to condition concerns.

An independent survey was undertaken as part of the Strategic Property Review and the surveyors reported back that the building was ‘Category D (Bad)’. It is one of the properties in the Council’s estate with the worst rating possible.

The report goes on to say that a detailed condition survey identified urgent repair needs, including rewiring and electrical installations, new boilers, and addressing structural issues with the estimated cost for these works exceeding £4m.

The centre would require to be closed or partially closed for a significant time to allow for asbestos to be removed safely while the works were ongoing.

Surveyors identified corroded electrical wiring and cracks to the pool wall which could fail at any time, as well as issues with the boilers, lighting and heating plant. The roof is also in very poor condition.

In the report, Council officials are putting forward that £3m of funding should be invested in ‘community access to sport and leisure facilities at secondary schools’ in the Falkirk Council area including Bo’ness Academy.

It is suggested the additional funding could provide an extension to the school to accommodate new facilities to meet the local demand.

Members will also hear that the carbon emissions generated by the Centre, opened in 1976, represent 3% of Falkirk Council’s overall Carbon footprint generated.

Malcolm Bennie, Director of Place Services said: “The independent survey shows the Bo’ness Rec has reached the end of its life and there is a serious risk of imminent failure. That failure could present a future risk of injury to users and employees at the building.

“To rectify the issues would require an initial investment of more than £4m, and the Centre would need to close or partially close to allow the works to take place. At the end of that residents would hardly notice any difference because the money will go on things like wiring, new boilers and repairs to the pool tank. The centre would still be unsuitable for the demands of modern leisure and sports use, and the Council would need to find more than £400,000 a year to fund the investment.

“Officers are recommending that spending on this scale does not represent good value for money, and that the Council should close the building as soon as possible. Alternative investment in the school estate could offer new benefits to residents in Bo’ness and the rest of Falkirk.

“It is now up to Elected Members to consider the information before them and decide on the best way forward for Bo’ness and the wider Falkirk area.”

You can read the full report here.