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Future of Ayr's £52m leisure centre plan to be decided within days

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The future of the new £52m Ayr Leisure Centre will be decided next week.Council leader Martin Dowey, had made the scrapping of the town centre facility, which is £7m overbudget, and refurbishment of the Citadel, one of the central pledges ahead of the local elections held in May.However, rather than simply seek approval to shelf the development, councillors will be given three options when the full council meets on Thursday, October 13.A report to the council reveals that the cost of the centre has spiralled from an estimated £36m in 2021 to £51m in August.Another £1m has been added to the costs in just over a month.However, the budget cap for the development is currently £45m.The budget for the project has increased several times.

An initial figure of £35.5m became £41m when the council set the formal budget.Last October, it was revealed that inflation would result in a further increase of £4m.A further £1m increase followed, citing the financial impact of the pandemic.On August 30, the new administration was told that the costs had rocketed to £51m.And the latest report indicates that the costs have risen by £1m in just over a month.

With high inflation expected to continue for some time, the £52m would likely see further increases.The report states that, with the project now £7m over budget, a decision on the future of the centre is required.

The council has spent around £1.68m on the project.The options to be laid out to councillors are:The redesign would involve significant changes to the approved plan.

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