Damp woes shut baths year after £5.7m refit

Glenogle Baths
Glenogle Baths
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One of Edinburgh’s oldest swimming pools had to close its doors for two months only one year after it reopened following a £5.7 million refurbishment – because of problems with damp.

The Glenogle Swim Centre in Stockbridge, still known locally as “Glenogle Baths”, has only reopened this month after a being shut for urgent repairs for more than eight weeks.

There have been no jubilant scenes like these at Glenogle Baths recently

There have been no jubilant scenes like these at Glenogle Baths recently

Emergency repairs to the Victorian baths are expected to cost the council a significant sum.

Edinburgh Leisure, the trust that runs Edinburgh’s sports facilities on behalf of the council, is now demanding compensation from the authority for lost revenues.

It is thought that the company has missed out on more than £10,000 of income during the closure.

Councillor Gordon Munro, culture and leisure spokesman for the Labour group on the council, said: “I hope Edinburgh Leisure are successful in pursuing costs because there will be lost income during the time that the baths have been closed. I would assume it would be a five-figure sum.

“This problem of flooding should have been foreseen by the contractors.”

It is understood that the problem came from a series of factors, including water running off Saxe-Coburg Place and on to the roof of the Glenogle Baths building then into the fabric of the building.

The main damp problem was in the pool hall beside the sauna and in the ladies’ shower area.

A city council spokesman said: “It’s very unfortunate there have been snagging issues, but that isn’t uncommon with a large project like this.”

Minutes of a meeting of the Edinburgh Leisure board, seen by the Evening News, show that the closure was extended from an original estimate of three weeks to more than eight weeks because of “significant dampness”.

Edinburgh Leisure chairman Charles Winstanley is noted asking about who should accept responsibility for the lack of income, with director of strategic services June Peebles responding that “discussions were being held with the council regarding compensation”.

Edinburgh Leisure chief executive John Comiskey said: “Any financial matters arising from the temporary closure of Glenogle Swim Centre for essential repair work will form part of regular and ongoing discussions between Edinburgh Leisure and our partners at the City of Edinburgh Council.”