The leader of Dundee City Council has pledged that a £21 million regional sports centre will go ahead — despite the project losing one of its key partners.
Fears were raised that plans for the centre at Caird Park would collapse or the cost would rise significantly after Dundee FC withdrew from the scheme.
It was originally planned that the centre would offer training facilities for the Dens Park outfit — but club chiefs now want to develop their own facilities elsewhere.
Speaking to the Tele, council leader Ken Guild insisted the project would still come to fruition, despite plans to change its location within the park.
But he did concede it would take longer and be more expensive — for which he said he was “sorry”.
Small costs linked to planning are expected, while the centre is likely to take a couple of months longer to be completed.
Mr Guild said: “A lot of the funding is coming from sportscotland and it has said it is happy with the steps that we are now taking.
“The Dundee FC impact would largely have been cost-neutral — we weren’t relying on the club financially.
“The withdrawal of Dundee FC is not going to put the project in any danger.
“We had known for some time that Dundee FC’s preference was to have their own separate training facility —that came as no surprise.
“Now that we have had written confirmation from them we can go ahead with alternative plans.
“We will be submitting the plans again which is going to cost a small amount of money but that is just the way it is.”
The original plans for the centre included a main sports building with a multi-sports hall, spectator seating, strength and conditioning and sports science facilities and storage space.
There was also to have been an indoor 3G football pitch in an airdome structure along with an outdoor 3G pitch and three grass pitches.
Athletics facilities were also included in the original plan, and Hawkhill Harriers — one of the organisations that would benefit from the facility — has voiced concerns that the centre might not go ahead.
However, Mr Guild — himself a former Harriers runner — vowed that there was no chance that the project will fall through.
He said: “I have a soft spot for the organisation because I was part of it in the 60s. I can assure them and other interested parties that they will be getting a regional sports centre.
“It will be a few months later than was expected and I can only apologise for that.”
Mr Guild said the council was “going to go back to the drawing board” to alter the plans — taking into account concerns from objectors about the loss of green space and trees within the park.
He said: “It is giving us an opportunity to revisit the plans for the site.
“There had been reservations from Historic Scotland and residents.
“The full pitches that Dundee FC would have used were on the south side.
“By simply moving buildings from the north end of the site to the south side, we would be mitigating these concerns.
“The buildings will be exactly the same but they will be in a different position.”