MORE than £1.2 million is likely to be spent on Helensburgh’s new leisure centre and swimming pool before a single brick is laid at the new facility.

Argyll and Bute Council’s policy and resources committee is to be asked to approve the use of an additional £235,000 from the total project budget, if required, to see the development through to a ‘full business case’.

The drawdown of £1 million for that purpose has already been approved – but the additional £235,000, if the request is backed at a meeting next week, means that around six per cent of the total budget for the waterfront development will have been spent by the time building work starts.

However, a decision made by councillors earlier this year to increase the overall budget for the project to £19.5 million more than soaks up the likely additional cost of the ‘pre-build’ phase.

READ MORE: Waterfront 'still faces financial challenges' despite budget boost

A report by executive director of development and infrastructure Pippa Milne also reveals that the process has been delayed by up to four months due to delays in obtaining planning permission, which was granted in January.

Ms Milne’s report also says the scheduled opening of the new pool has been slightly put back a month to November 2021, with construction work pencilled in to start this November.

The report will be discussed at the committee’s meeting on Thursday, May 16 at the council headquarters in Lochgilphead.

READ MORE: Waterfront plans given planning permission – at third time of asking

Ms Milne states in her report: “In August 2016 the committee approved the drawdown of up to £1 million from the Helensburgh Waterfront capital budget allocation to enable the project to be progressed to detailed design, secure statutory approvals and to bring forward the full business case [FBC].

“At that time the indicative programme for the delivery of the project anticipated a start on site in June 2018 with a completion date of April 2020.

“It was anticipated that the detailed design would be presented for approval by the Helensburgh and Lomond area committee in spring 2017, with the FBC coming forward to local members and the policy and resources committee in August 2017.

“Changes to the project delivery model, delays in securing statutory approvals, and additional design work, have all contributed to programme delays and/or additional costs.

“The committee is asked to approve the drawdown of up to a further £235,000 in development funding to take the project through to the completion of the full business case and contract award recommendation Report, scheduled for September 2019.”

READ MORE: Planning permission granted – but what happens next for waterfront?

She added: “Delays in obtaining planning permission and allowing additional time during the ESPD [European Single Procurement Document] assessment process, to clarify requirements with bidding organisations, has meant that dates have slipped back by an estimated four months.

“Whilst any delay is unwelcome, it is important that we take the necessary time during the procurement exercise to ensure that we get the right contractor for the delivery of the works.

“Given the complex nature of the project, a few additional weeks now, could save significant time and costs later.”