‘A tough de­ci­sion’: Nearly £5m cut from PH20 project

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS - Jamie Buchan

Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil is con­sid­er­ing chop­ping nearly £5 mil­lion from the long-stand­ing PH20 project to help pay for the new Perth High School.

The scheme, run by Live Ac­tive Leisure (LAL), aims to re­place Perth Leisure Pool with a £25 mil­lion state-ofthe-art fa­cil­ity.

In a re­port to coun­cil­lors, se­nior ac­coun­tants in­sist the coun­cil will con­tinue to work with LAL to re­view and progress the project.

Coun­cil leader Mur­ray Lyle said: “This is a LAL-led project and I know it will cause some con­cern for them.

“But it does give them a cred­i­ble steer as to where they are go­ing in the fu­ture.

“There is noth­ing to stop them from get­ting money from else­where to com­plete this project. It is a case of clos­ing one door, but also open­ing up new op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

He added: “That was def­i­nitely one of the tougher de­ci­sions that we’ve had to make.

“But it has been a pot of money that has been ly­ing around for years and no de­ci­sion was made on it.”

Plans to build a new pri­mary at Ou­denarde are be­ing put on hold, sav­ing just over £10m. The long-stand­ing hous­ing scheme was de­layed ear­lier this year when the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment called in the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion, just hours be­fore it was due to be ap­proved.

Coun­cil­lors will also be asked to with­draw plans to re­place Pit­lochry Pri­mary at a cost of nearly £14m. Around £3m will in­stead be spent im­prov­ing the ex­ist­ing build­ing.

A fur­ther £14.7m is pro­posed for the new Blair­gowrie Re­cre­ation Cen­tre, around £3m less than what was orig­i­nally pro­posed.

Mr Lyle said the new fa­cil­ity will still have ev­ery­thing the com­mu­nity asked for, while re­duc­ing the to­tal bud­get will also help de­crease rev­enue costs.

Perth and North Perthshire SNP MP Pete Wishart ques­tioned the spend­ing plan, adding: “I am deeply con­cerned about the im­pli­ca­tions.”

Pic­tures: Dougie Ni­col­son.

Clock­wise from top: Perth High School will be re­placed with a new £50 mil­lion build; the pro­posed site for the school at Ou­denarde and Blair­gowrie Re­cre­ation Cen­tre.

Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil leader Mur­ray Lyle.

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