£10m shortfall in funding for new local sports facility

Dave Doogan

The future of a £25 million project to give Perth a state-of-the-art sports facility hangs in the balance.

Live Active Leisure (LAL), the council’s arm’s-length body behind the PH2O project, still needs to find about £10m to fund new swimming pools, fitness studios, outdoor sports facilities and an upgraded ice rink on the site of the existing Perth Leisure Pool and Dewar’s Centre in Glasgow Road.

Of the £15m secured so far, £5m was provided by Perth and Kinross Council.

LAL chiefs have been in talks with the local authority over alternative ways to meet the shortfall.

A spokesman for LAL has confirmed that talks with the council remained ongoing as it continued to investigate the most “affordable and sustainable” way to deliver the PH2O facility.

LAL chief executive officer Jim Moyes said: “We launched our plans for PH2O a little over four years ago now and have been working hard to raise the capital budget required to bring this much-needed project to fruition.

“The council continues to support our efforts and has already indicated a commitment of £5m.”

He added: “This is a project for everyone in Perth and Kinross — it will create an iconic public space, a unique experience and a dynamic mix of more than 20 sports and leisure opportunities.

“The spend-to-save projections and environmental impact makes a compelling case and we are committed to exploring all avenues in delivering what I believe to be a ‘must have’ facility and activity offer for both the people of Perth and Kinross, and the visitors to our city and beyond.”

A council spokesman said it continued to support LAL in its efforts to secure funding for the PH20 development.

SNP group leader Councillor Dave Doogan said: “A new leisure centre in Perth is an essential component and we need to get this project under way.”