A Dundee community centre devastated by a fire will not be rebuilt because the council cannot afford to pay the insurance excess, it has emerged.
It is understood the local authority must pay around £1m before the insurers would meet the rest of the Mill O’ Mains Pavilion replacement costs – money which it says it does not have.
There is also confusion over whether an additional insurance policy taken out by the Mill O’Mains Pavilion Group, which they have been paying for the past ten years, can compensate them for the loss of the building.
The group is in limbo with a temporary home in a sheltered housing complex and no promise of a new building.
Jim Malone, of the Dundee People’s Assembly has branded the situation “deplorable”.
He said: “From my life-long experience as a firefighter it does seem odd to me.
“I find it deplorable that they can’t, or won’t, find the money to support the people of Mill O’Mains. Years ago, when there was the Morgan Academy fire, they spent millions rebuilding it.
“I know that building was of architectural and historical importance, but surely a facility that is crucial to the community is also important?
“That building was used by deprived children, pensioners and people wishing to partake in all kinds of pastimes. They’ve put them all in the sheltered housing complex and I’ve noticed they’ve now renamed it a community complex.
“However, it’s just the same old building which is completely unsuitable for use as a community centre.”
Mr Malone added: “It appears the people who used the pavilion were to get their own insurance as well but it’s not clear whether the cover will go as far as to replace a building that has been completely written off.”
Yvonne Mullen, chairwoman of the Mill O’Mains Pavilion Group, has called for a public meeting to be arranged so that residents can discuss where they go from here.
She said: “All we know is 10 years ago we were advised to get our own insurance on the building as the council have a million pound deficit – as volunteers how are we to know what that means?
“We are still in contact with the insurance company so are awaiting the outcome.”
The pavilion was ravaged by a fire in July and had to be demolished by the council at a cost of £15,000.
Dundee City Council did not comment on their insurance policy but said: “The council has held a number of meetings with representatives from the pavilion group and local elected members to discuss community facilities within Mill O Mains.
“As has been discussed at these meetings there is no funding available for rebuilding the pavilion.
“The council continues to work with the pavilion group and the community to ensure temporary arrangements are in place and longer term possibilities are still under discussion.”