Future of Leith Waterworld to be decided

Councillors will decide on Thursday (31 January) whether to back a community bid to operate Leith Waterworld.

An officer report, which will be considered at the meeting, concludes that the revised business case submitted by campaign group, Splashback, is not commercially viable and does not offer best value to the Council.

The report recommends that the property be remarketed for sale.

Councillors agreed on 20 September to offer an extension to the campaigners and to provide dedicated assistance from the Council's Economic Development unit to enable them to prepare a more robust business case.

Their revised submission features two options: the first would be to operate the venue using its existing facilities; the second would add a large soft play feature in the glass entrance atrium and create a new café.

Both options would still require a significant ongoing subsidy from the Council, for which no budget currently exists, and neither would generate the funds required to help pay for the recently completed refurbishment of the Royal Commonwealth Pool.

The process had previously been postponed for six months to allow Splashback to come forward with alternative proposals for the pool, which has been closed since January 2012. This followed a decision taken in 2005 to put the property up for sale.

Cllr Richard Lewis, Culture and Leisure Convener, said: "I said previously that I would be delighted if an affordable and achievable community bid came forward and I acknowledge the time and effort that Splashback have invested in this.

"We gave the group the opportunity to bring back a more robust bid and it is now up to us as councillors to consider the arguments and reach a decision in the best interests of the city."

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