A COMPARISON of the costs of building leisure centres by Save Our Sports Hall campaigners has revealed the Dolphin Centre is the most expensive out of the three examined.
The figures detail construction costs for the centres in Bromsgrove, Wyre Forest and Wednesbury.
Campaigners claim they show Wyre Forest has a better specification with the the addition of a six court sports hall, six floodlit outdoor football pitches and free parking – at a cost of £11.9million – almost £2million less than the Dolphin Centre – which now costs £13.7million including the £700,000 overspend.
They add Wyre Forest is also able to match and exceed the service requirements of residents by providing a six-lane 25 metre swimming pool, a 15×10 metre learner pool, a moveable learner pool floor, climbing, wall and Spa.
There is a slight difference in terms of fitness suites – with 80 at Wyre Forest and 100 at the new Dolphin Centre.
The cost of the land is also similar with Wyre Forest costing £1.4million and the Dolphin Centre costing £1.5million.
Responding to the figures Portfolio Holder for Leisure Peter Whittaker said: “They don’t mean anything do they? It’s like comparing apples and pears, or a Toyota Aygo with a Range Rover.”
Coun Whittaker said it was not possible to compare the cost of the land in Bromsgrove to that of Wyre Forest.
“A greenfield site is a lot cheaper than a town centre location such as Bromsgrove.”
He added Bromsgrove had commissioned a ‘high quality build’ so it could compete with private leisure centres.
“The contract strategies are also different because we have up-front costs, and if you look at Wyre Forest, they have design, build and run costs which they will get back over the lease.”
Coun Whittaker said the cost analaysis showed the other two centres had already been built.
“If the new Dolphin Centre had been built two years ago, it would have been built for 1million pounds less because that is the rate of inflation with regards to sports centres – 9.5 per cent.
“The comparison does not show what figures the other sites are running on.
“A greenfield site would have been a lot cheaper but we are building it where we think it needs to be.”