Martin Whitfield MSP has written to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Shona Robison, asking the Scottish Government to provide the funds required to get the swimming pool at the Loch Centre in Tranent open again.
East Lothian Council has identified that essential repairs needed to re-open the pool will cost close to four and a half million pounds. This unanticipated additional bill means the council does not currently have the resources required to repair and re-open the pool.
While the council’s administration is pulling out all the stops to try and identify funding from within its existing, already over-stretched, capital budget, additional funds from the Scottish Government would assist this to happen more quickly.
The South Scotland MSP believes that next month’s Scottish Budget is the perfect opportunity for Ministers to begin to address East Lothian’s chronic underfunding by committing funds to pay for the repairs at the Loch Centre.
Martin Whitfield MSP said:
“The swimming pool at the Loch Centre is a vital resource for the health and wellbeing of the local community in Tranent and re-opening it must be a priority.
“However, I understand that the £4million plus repair bill is an unforeseen extra cost that East Lothian Council simply cannot afford at this time.
“It has seen a significant drop in the capital funding it receives from the Scottish Government over recent years, and, despite being the second fastest growing area in Scotland, its revenue funding is the third lowest per head of population out of all Scotland’s 32 councils.
“That’s why I have raised this matter with the Finance Secretary and urged her to provide funding to meet the cost of the repairs required at the Loch Centre.
“With the Scottish Budget coming up next month, I hope the Finance Secretary will take the opportunity to give the county a much-needed funding boost.”