Richmondshire District Council is to consider investing a further £240,000 of taxpayers’ money to plug water leaks causing structural damage at Richmond Swimming Pool.
A meeting of leading members of Richmondshire District Council, which last June also moved to increase its annual grant to Richmondshire Leisure Trust to £313,000 to run Richmond Swimming Pool, on Tuesday will hear it has been discovered extra building works are needed to safeguard the building.
The proposal comes almost two years after the council’s chairman used his casting vote to approve using one third of the authority’s annual council tax income, some £1.4 million, into the pool’s first major renovation in two decades.
Since then a move to improve the green credentials of the facility has seen the bill rise to £1.88 for works including a full renewal of the roof, solar panels, an air source heat pump and revamped lobby and changing facilities.
An officer’s report to the corporate board meeting on Tuesday states: “As with most improvements involving older buildings, the project has not been without its challenges as the construction work has uncovered previously unseen structural issues.”
It states while the pool’s re-opening date is scheduled for next week, a later phase of the revamp had uncovered water seepage from the pool area below floor level and in the boiler room, which had caused structural damage.
Officers said while the necessary repairs could be patched up for up to £140,000, councillors were being recommended to approve spending up to £240,00 for long-lasting epoxy flooring around the two pools.
Colburn councillor Kevin Foster said he had great concerns about the amount of taxpayers’ money that had already been spent on the swimming pool and that he wanted to know who was responsible for the latest issues.
Richmond councillor Clive World said he would be supporting the extra spending to safeguard the future of an important facility.
He added: “The pool is used by a lot of people of all ages, the swimming club is thriving and the whole building needs to be right. What’s the point in half doing the job?”
As the additional spend is on a capital project already costing more than £1m, due to local government reorganisation rules in the county, North Yorkshire County Council’s executive would have to approve funding for the repairs.
If the recommended remedial work is approved the pool is likely to be closed again during the summer for six weeks.