FURIOUS campaigners have hit out after bosses at Glasgow Life told them it would cost £18,000 a week to erect scaffolding for repairs to a lifeline hub.

Activists were left to believe that plans to reopen Ruchill Community Centre had been left in tatters due to the bill for the framework to access and replace its roof, which is riddled with potentially deadly asbestos.

The Glasgow Times has seen a document which reveals the extent of the costs to bring the building up to an acceptable standard after £262,000 was secured to overhaul it.

Horrified Labour councillors Fiona Higgins and Robert Mooney - who have been fighting to have the centre reopened since it closed in 2020 -  immediately questioned the breakdown, outlined within a letter sent to Councillor Higgins by Glasgow Life.

She said: “They have now told me that the £18,000 quoted per week for scaffolding was a misunderstanding - and that sum will in fact be the total cost for it.

"This has caused a lot of worry and upset for people in the community who feared that this unexpected bill would completely torpedo all the hard work that has been done to get the centre open again. I'm glad this confusion has been remedied and will now continue to campaign and do everything I can to ensure this happens.”

Red-faced chiefs at Glasgow Life have also acknowledged the blunder to the Glasgow Times.

Glasgow Times:

A spokesperson added: “In a letter sent to Councillor Higgins, we mistakenly said scaffolding costs at Ruchill Community Centre were £18,000 a week. We have written to Councillor Higgins today to explain this was an error and the letter should have read that the total costs for scaffolding are £18,000 to date.

“We are advised there will be no further costs incurred until the scaffolding comes down. We apologise to Councillor Higgins and local community groups for the error made in recent communication.”

READ MORE: Ruchill campaigners blast Glasgow Life over asbestos issue

The document also highlights a string of eye-watering costs that will need to be met to get the hub back in action.

It says: “The original roof repairs cost £80,000 for an overlay. It was discovered that structurally the building could not support the additional weight, which then required for it to be repriced for a complete removal and replacement at a cost of £197,000. 

“Additional asbestos works to be included in the roof replacement with the initial cost estimate at least £150,000 and could be more based on the final report. The scaffolding required to undertake the roof replacement has been costed at £18,000 per week.”

It continues: “The boiler replacement works have been costed at £194,000 and require the roof to be watertight. 

“The replacement of all LED lighting has been costed at £27,000, the replacement of the café ceiling at £14,000 and fabric and decoration works at £9,000. The fire alarm replacement works have been completed at a cost £21,000.

The report also says the building's gym hall floor needs to be re-laid, grounds cleared and statutory maintenance on completion of works, the price of which can't be confirmed until the boiler is installed and the roof replaced.

The document adds: “The allocated budget Glasgow Life has available is £262,000, meaning at least an additional £400,000 is required to progress these works. I confirm these works will get the building operational and do not address other issues present such as provision of disabled toilets and the replacement of windows.”

 Glasgow Life confirmed it doesn't have the extra cash for repairs.

The centre on Bilsland Drive has been shut since March 2020, when the plug was pulled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Glasgow Times:

For the past three years, campaigners have held weekly protests in a bid to pressure Glasgow Life into reopening it, supported by the Labour duo.

Councillor Mooney said: “People feel badly let down by this and want answers as to why these costs haven't come to light sooner. We will be doing everything in our power to ensure a way is found to secure the money for repairs.

“This is a much-loved centre that held a full timetable of events and programmes before its closure. It’s a hugely important part of this community."

READ MORE: Church Street swimming pool in Glasgow could be saved by duo

Activist Dave Anderson, 77, fears those struggling with the cost of living and fuel bills will have nowhere to turn for vital support if the centre's doors remain shut. 

He added: "It’s just not good enough and they need to take responsibility for the state of their buildings and support the people who rely on them."