THE regeneration of Selwyn Jones Leisure Centre has been delayed.

Plans to carry out refurbishment work on the Newton-le-Willows leisure centre was originally approved by St Helens Council’s cabinet in December 2016.

The council originally agreed to borrow £450,000 using prudential borrowing to fund the council’s contribution to the total project, in addition to a £200,000 grant from Sport England.

In June 2017 the original project was reviewed and in September it was decided to progress the scheme to cost confidence, at which point the costs were fixed and all financial risk transferred to Alliance Leisure Ltd, the company delivering the scheme.

On Wednesday, councillors were given an update on the project at the council’s environment, regeneration, housing, culture and leisure overview and scrutiny panel.

Dave Boocock, head of youth and sports development at St Helens Council, said Alliance has identified age and condition-related problems with the mechanical and electrical plant on site.

Mr Boocock said the additional work could cost in the region of £1 million.

“Before making any decision on the scope of any works at Selwyn Jones it’s necessary for the council to have cost certainty and agree specifications for the work,” he said.

“As such it was agreed via an admin decision to extend the scope of the work that we’ve engaged Alliance for to ensure that we have cost certainty for the replacement of all the mechanical plant.

“It’s anticipated that all designs and associated costs will be received from Alliance this month and then this will be considered by members.”

He said given the extent of the work, it will also be necessary to provide full replacement costs of the facility by way of a comparison.

In the council’s latest budget and performance monitoring report, it says this latest setback has delayed scheme progression while funding options are considered.

Consequently £554,000 will be re-phased to 2018-19. The scheme will be the subject of a separate report to cabinet.