Anger as bill for new leisure offices tops £700,000

Ravenscraig, one of the facilities run by NLL.
Ravenscraig, one of the facilities run by NLL.

North Lanarkshire Leisure has been accused of ‘squandering’ more than £700,000 on new offices while increasing fees for customers.

The organisation, which runs facilities including Ravenscraig and Sir Matt Busby Sports Complex, warned recently it needs to save more than £3 million over the next three years and staff are braced for job cuts.

Facililty users face a three per cent increase in charges for each of the next three years.

However, the tough economic climate hasn’t stopped NLL from converting space at Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld, to new offices for around 70 headquarters staff. They have moved from the Time Capsule in Coatbridge and NLL is spending more money renting office space until Broadwood is ready.

Central Scotland MSP Richard Lyle, a former North Lanarkshire councillor, said the cost is ‘outrageous’. He added: “North Lanarkshire Council is always complaining to the Scotish Government that it has no money - well it’s no wonder when hard-earned council taxpayers’ money is spent on fabulous offices for highly-paid officials.

“It’s time the council took action to stop NLL squandering public money.”

However, NLL defended the decision and a spokesman said: “The offices at the Time Capsule were not fit for purpose. Many had no natural daylight or ventilation, had roof leaks and were too warm in summer and too cold in winter. Fifty employees were squeezed into an area designed for half that.

“Returning the complex to sport will help address low levels of participation in physical activities. At the same time, this allows NLL to occupy under-used office space within Broadwood.”

More on this story in the this week’s Times and Speaker, out now.