Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 13:19 GMT on Saturday, 1st December 2012.
North Lanarkshire Leisure propose a half a million move from Coatbridge to Cumbernauld while organisation faces £2m cuts

ANGER has surrounded plans from North Lanarkshire Leisure which would see their senior staff move to new offices in Cumbernauld at a cost of over £500,000.


NL Leisure are an arm’s length limited company, from North Lanarkshire Council, run the region’s sport and recreation facilities.


Currently NL Leisure are based in Coatbridge but they have proposed a move to new offices at Cumbernauld’s Broadwood Stadium,  a move that will cost at least £540,000 – at a time when the organisation is facing nearly £2m of cuts.


The cuts were uncovered by Airdrie MSP Alex Neil and published in the Airdrie Advertiser.


The advertiser, which has seen a copy of the proposed cost estimates, has revealed costs could equate to £73,123 for banqueting suites/offices, another £82,423 for a boardroom/kitchen preparation area/offices, a £63,472 management suite and a £23,358 hospitality suite.


Although, the paper adds that work would need to be carried out over four floors at Broadwood and the total budget is £540,234, although that would increase when the other costs including VAT, professional costs, repair works to the building, asbestos removal and the price of furnishings like blinds, tables and chairs are factored in.


Airdrie MSP Alex Neil said: “This is a complete waste of public money at a time when North Lanarkshire Council is planning to cut £73m from its budget and scrap 1300 jobs.


“It appears to be luxury spending for the top brass, while frontline jobs and services are getting cut.


“Ordinary workers and service users continue to suffer from the decisions of the leadership while those at the top see it as business as usual and think they can splash out on fancy boardrooms.


“No wonder people are wondering about the skewed priorities of those leading the council.”


NL Leisure claims that: “The purpose of North Lanarkshire Leisure Ltd is to deliver sport, recreational and health improving services to the community of North Lanarkshire.”


The firm is responsible for the management and operation of a number of facilities including eight pools, a dozen sport and leisure centre, two golf courses, 66 sports pavillions, 170 pitches, sports development and community fitness.


A spokesman for North Lanarkshire Leisure Limited said: “This is not a live project. However, there are a number of projects currently being assessed by North Lanarkshire Leisure. For example, we are also in discussions with funders to bring a swimming pool to the Ravenscraig Sports Facility.


“Any major developments like this are subject to funding being made available and board approval.


“North Lanarkshire Leisure has a successful track record in demonstrating social, financial and health returns on investments.”


North Lanarkshire Leisure faces a reduction of around 19 per cent in the money it gets from the council over the next four years and savings of £500,000 for 2013/14 have already been approved by the NLL board and further savings of £1,494,000 are proposed by the end of 2015/16.


It is understood the move to Broadwood could free up space at the Time Capsule for other use, possibly by the public.

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