“SIGNIFICANT” investment is needed at many leisure hubs across the region if they are continue to operate, according to Live Borders.

The trust – which runs culture services on behalf of the council – was subject to a scathing attack after it received a £329,000 emergency bail-out.

At a full council meeting at the end of last month, Leaderdale and Melrose councillor David Parker accused the organisation of “poor management” and said he was “deeply concerned about how Live Borders are running our buildings”.

A Live Borders spokesperson said: “Many of the council-owned facilities we operate out of are requiring significant investment or replacement if they are to continue to operate. There are landlord responsibilities and lease holder responsibilities.

“The ageing property estate is becoming increasingly costly to maintain and is affecting service delivery and finances, and is one of a number of drivers for the ongoing joint review of sport, leisure and cultural services and facilities being undertaken by the council and Live Borders.

“Our focus at present is to ensure a more active and more creative Scottish Borders, and sustainable in terms of finance and estate.”

Emergency powers were used by Scottish Borders Council (SBC) bosses this summer to replace the heating and air handling systems at Gytes Leisure Centre in Peebles and the public pool at Eyemouth Leisure Centre.

The facilities faced closure if the bail-outs had not been forthcoming.

Mr Parker said: “I dislike emergency powers because it places too much power in the hands of a few people.

“Live Borders knew fine well that the boiler broke 18 months ago and the community knew that it was broken and they knew there was a back-up boiler and it shouldn’t be a case if the thing is run correctly.

“It is shocking that they have come to this council on the Gytes and the Eyemouth issue at the last minute asking for this money, that’s simply poor management and officers and members should never have been placed in the position that, because of Live Borders’ incompetence, they have.”

Mr Parker said the conclusion of an ongoing council review of Live Borders “cannot come soon enough”.

He added: “I am deeply concerned about how Live Borders are running our buildings. There are hundreds of thousands of pound being paid out to an organisation that is clearly not doing the job. The review cannot come soon enough. Enough is enough as far as Live Borders is concerned.”

Tweeddale East councillor Robin Tatler added: “I note the considerable disappointment in Peebles at the way this has been handled. It comes on the back of the unfortunate incident with the swimming pool, so our sporting organisations do feel very let down by what has gone on.

“Eighteen months ago this defect was reported, that’s a long time ago, and of course if the council had not stood in when it did this centre would be closing in October.”

SBC leader Euan Jardine, a Galashiels councillor, stepped in to defend Live Borders, saying: “I know we are talking about Live Borders here and there is an ongoing review. For those who have a lot of frustration and angst today, Live Borders are in the building today to meet with councillors, they have brought eight representatives from the organisation because they are not running and hiding and we’re collaborating with them to turn things around.”