£950k bill to demolish two well-known Scunthorpe town centre buildings
DEMOLITION of Scunthorpe Leisure Centre and the adjacent Carlton Street multi-storey car park cost taxpayers more than £950,000 it has been revealed.
The two structures were pulled down between September 2011 and January last year.
Contractor GBM Demolition carried out the work on behalf of North Lincolnshire Council.
Figures released by the council show knocking down the leisure centre cost £167,000, while the car park demolition cost £787,000.
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The leisure centre demolition cost had previously been estimated at £150,000 and was covered in the £20 million-plus budget for The Pods leisure centre. The car park then had to be demolished after a structural report suggested a potential risk of it collapsing.
Council bosses have defended the high cost of the project, saying it represented the market value for a scheme of its kind.
Councillor Liz Redfern, leader of the council, said: "We would always get three quotes, so that would have been the market competitive rate.
"The benefit is the University Technical College (UTC) is set to be down there.
"We would not have been able to get the new college in without the demolition."
Mrs Redfern said the car park cost significantly more to demolish because of the complex nature of the project.
She said: "The car park was certainly more expensive and the reason is it was built on an electricity sub-station.
"We looked at all sorts of ways of doing it but if we had just taken it down, we could not guarantee the electricity for some of the town would not go off."
Councillor Mark Kirk, leader of the opposition Labour group on the council, said he was surprised at the cost of the project.
He said: "I am somewhat shocked at the colossal amount of money spent on demolition costs for these two sites.
"I will be seeking assurances that all the correct procurement procedures were adhered to before this spend was agreed. We need to ensure that whatever replacement takes place is a sound investment, more than compensates for this financial outlay and is of benefit to the residents of North Lincolnshire."
The car park was built by British Lift Slab Ltd in the 1960s. The leisure centre then followed in 1984, at a cost of £3.5 million. An extra 88 temporary car parking spaces were created on the leisure centre site after its demolition.
Details of the project were revealed by GBM Demolition. The firm said: "Both structures were demolished following the clearance of all asbestos-containing materials."