AN EXASPARATED entrepreneur has told how he has been left almost £50,000 out of pocket due to a recurring leak that keeps bringing the roof in on his business.

John Kerr, who is the managing director of VR Simulators, says he has finally reached breaking point after six years battling owners City Property Glasgow Investments LLP (CPGI), for a resolution.

The 38-year-old says the problems with water ingress started almost as soon as the firm moved into the listed building at 36 Gallowgate in 2017. He claims part of the ceiling collapsed and damaged expensive equipment inside.

But the incident was only the beginning of the issues, with John saying that the roof has continued to plague them with problems every year.

Glasgow Times: Damage to the roof Damage to the roof (Image: Gordon Terris, Newsquest)

He exclusively told the Glasgow Times: “It has been a nightmare since day one and it shows no sign of ending. From the minute we moved in, the building hasn’t been properly watertight.

“I’ve reached the end of my tether and want this to be resolved once and for all. We pay our rent and rates on time, yet our business is being impacted every time this happens. Enough is enough.”

John says that the problems resurface as soon as wet wintry weather begins to bite – and has accused City Property of not trying hard enough to find a proper fix.

He explained: “Every year around October, or when we have the first big storm, the ceiling comes down in or around the same spot and often causes damage to our equipment.

“We’ve moved the simulators away from the area that’s impacted, but it means we are constantly operating with one or more machines down. It’s absurd that it has been going on for so long and it is still happening.”

Repeated floods and damage to the expensive VR simulators, which provide users with an immersive 5D car racing experience, have left the business badly out of pocket.

John estimates that repairs and lost takings due to enforced closures have mounted to losses of almost £50,000 since the business launched.

Glasgow Times: Damage caused when part of the ceiling collapsed Damage caused when part of the ceiling collapsed (Image: Supplied)

He explained: “It has been an expensive carry on, and I just don’t feel the impact to us as a business has been taken seriously.

“This is one of our busiest times with festive bookings, yet every year instead of it being prosperous you are always looking at the weather forecast wondering if there’s going to be a downpour that is going to put a simulator out of action or force us into a temporary shutdown. Every time that happens, we lose further revenue, and it hits us hard in the pocket.

“Repair bills have easily surpassed £25,000 over the years and we’ve probably lost the same sum again in cancelled bookings and enforced closures. No business could go on like that – it has an impact on insurance premiums and other running costs too.”

The last repair involved the installation of a tarpaulin sheet to catch any rainfall and crumbling concrete, which has become saturated due to the continued water ingress.

Glasgow Times:

John said: “The repair is basically a glorified industrial bin bag. It’s a farce to think that someone would consider that it would remedy a problem that is obviously a serious structural flaw.”

The businessman claims City Property carried out an inspection last week after another flood which again brought part of the ceiling down in a corner of his premises.

Glasgow Times: Damage caused by water pouring from the roofDamage caused by water pouring from the roof (Image: Gordon Terris, Newsquest)

He explained: “This involved them surveying the floor above us and their team didn’t even visit our site. They sent me an email claiming there were no signs of water ingress, which is just ridiculous when we have a ceiling that has come down.

“I could look for another venue for VR Simultors, but I don’t see why we should be forced to move. We have a good going business, we’ve spent all the cash wiring it up and installing the technology and the location is good with parking nearby and links to public transport.

“We don’t want to move – we just want this fixed once and for all.”

A spokesperson for City Property Glasgow (Investments) LLP (CPGI), who own the property, said they will action further repairs to try and finally resolve the problem:

They added: “We are aware of the water ingress at 36 Gallowgate and understand our tenant’s frustration. The issue has previously been repaired, however over time this repair is proving less effective.

“Following the most recent concerns raised by VR Simulators, our senior building services manager visited the property on Tuesday, reviewed the recent ingress and spoke to the tenant.

“We have now agreed further remedial works which we are intending to commence within a few days. We will continue to support and communicate with the tenant and work towards a solution.”