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Councillors agree to close Bo’ness Recreation Centre due to condition concerns, backlog in maintenance costs and level of subsidy and, to invest in alternative new facilities. 
Falkirk Council this week (31st January) agreed that Bo’ness Recreation Centre be closed in the coming months due to condition concerns. The council procured an independent survey was undertaken as part of the Council’s Strategic Property Review (SPR) and the surveyors reported back that the building was ‘Category D (Bad)’ which is “life expired and/or serious risk of imminent failure; risk of injury”.   
The report went 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 have needed 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 in the pool wall, as well as issues with the boilers, lighting and heating plant. The roof was also in very poor condition. 
Investment in schools
In the report, Council officials recommended 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.  
Cllr Cecil Meiklejohn, Leader of Falkirk Council said: “We are very much aware of the community’s feelings over the closure of Bo’ness Rec however looking at the facts presented in an independent surveyor’s report simply leaves us with no options here. 
“The report has highlighted many issues that we cannot ignore from the perspective of the future safety of our customers and our employees. 
“As a Council, we cannot continue to simply spend money when alternatives can be found and in the case of Bo’ness Rec, it would take an investment of at least £4m to simply fix the issues but not see any improvement for our customers.  
“What we want to focus on is investment in more suitable locations including Bo’ness that will see better access to sports and leisure facilities that can have decades of a life span unlike Bo’ness Rec which is at the end of its useful life.  
“We have asked for a report to be brought back no later than June of this that will outline what can be achieved with the £3m of funding being made available.”