Sandwick and Scalloway swimming pools have been granted £400,000 to fund repairs to their roofs, which if not dealt with could have led to their closure.
The two buildings are less than 20 years old but there is serious concern that the structural problem could cause the roofs to fail, possibly causing injuries and damage, particularly in Sandwick which is in worse condition.
Trustees on Shetland Charitable Trust, which bankrolls Shetland’s leisure centres, agreed today to grant £200,000 so that the South Mainland Pool can get a new roof this summer. They also set aside another £200,000 for the financial year 2012/13 for the work in Scalloway.
The rust is on the inside of the roofs. It appears to have been caused by the deterioration of a breather membrane between the aluminium roof sheeting and the purlins, which are lengths of steel supported by rafters. That has allowed the two surfaces to touch, causing both to corrode severely and water to get in.
Shetland Recreational Trust (SRT), which runs the pools, has been unsuccessful in looking outside Shetland for funding for repairs but it is still considering legal action against companies involved in building the centres, which were completed in 1992 at a cost of £3.1 million.
It is believed that for some reason the type of breather membrane was switched to a product other than had been specified for the buildings.
In a report to the meeting trustees were warned: “There is a real risk that the facility will have to close if the funding for this is not forthcoming. SRT has a legal obligation to ensure the safety of the public so, at minimum, funding must be made available to render the building safe.”