Dundee Olympia pool crisis slammed by councilor as re-opening date looks toward 2023


Dundee’s flagship swimming pool may not re-open until 2023 after council officers admitted repairs would not start on time.

A special meeting of Dundee City Council’s scrutiny committee heard that scheduled works at the Olympia swimming pool would not be underway by the end of March – the council’s own deadline.

Elected members are also concerned that rising rates of inflation will push the repair bill ever higher.

Earlier this week, Dundee Live revealed that the cost of fixing the Olympia was set to exceed the amount the council saved by opting for the cheapest offer from construction firm Balfour Beatty to build it in the first place.

An inspection revealed corroded fixtures were leaving lights hanging
An inspection revealed corroded fixtures were leaving lights hanging

Its offer came in at £4.6 million below the most expensive bid for the pool, which opened less than a decade ago – and the council believes it will cost at least £4.5 million to repair the building’s corroded fixtures.

Dundee is also having to set aside at least £4.4 million to sort botched roof repairs that were not up to British Standards.

It will also likely spend a seven-figure sum on repairing heating systems at Dundee House – a building it does not even own after auctioning off the HQ to a Canadian insurance company in a controversial leaseback deal.

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Richard McCready, a councilor on the scrutiny committee, told Dundee Live he feared there were “more nasty surprises” to come.

He said: “I asked when work on the Olympia would start given that the council was told in December that it would be on site by the end of quarter one in 2022. The council has not even agreed who will carry out the work.

“Given the recent eye-watering rises in the rate of inflation I am concerned that the cost of the repairs will go up. I am also very concerned that the likelihood of the Olympia re-opening in 2022 looks remote.”

The council is to spend millions sorting botched roof repairs
The council is to spend millions sorting botched roof repairs

Cllr McCready added: “There will be more reports on these debacles in due course.

“Most importantly the people of Dundee need to be able to trust the council to deliver services and value for money.

“In the midst of a cost of living crisis services are being cut in Dundee and council tax has gone up at the same time as over £10 million is being spent on what look avoidable repair bills. This is not good enough.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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