THE Dutch firm which installed movable floors at two county swimming pools is being paid £515,000 to replace them.

The floors at North Berwick and Musselburgh’s pools, fitted 25 years ago, have come to the end of their lifespans.

A report to councillors said officials opted to go back to Variopool BV rather than put the work out to public tender to ensure the replacement work could be carried out quickly.

It said that the original floor designs were bespoke to the sport centres and like-for-like replacement of the floors was least disruptive; the work needed to be done in the current financial year; and Variopool still operated in the UK.

It said: “The movable floors were originally installed by Variopool BV and the associated surrounding fixtures, equipment and plant space were designed and constructed to accommodate Variopool’s floors. In order to replace the movable floors with minimum disruption and alteration to the surrounding plant rooms, the head of infrastructure and corporate procurement’s commercial programme manager were approached to consider the option of single sourcing the original supplier, Variopool BV, to design and install the replacement pool floors. ”

The report said Variopool’s tender of £515,000 was considered fair and reasonable.

And it revealed that the Community Benefit in Procurement (CBIP) would not apply to the contract, adding: “Community Benefit opportunities would be limited due to the contractor being based overseas.”

Movable floors in swimming pools allow the depth of the water to be changed to suit different groups and activities.