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Swansea County Council successfully contests Liberty Stadium Court case

SWANSEA Council has clawed back £130,000 in costs after successfully contesting a Liberty Stadium court case.

The case had been brought by the venue’s operator Swansea Stadium Management Company (SSMC), which claimed it had structural defects.

But SSMC’s legal action against the council, which built the £27m stadium, and the main contractor Interserve Construction Ltd, was dismissed after a two-week High Court hearing last autumn.

Speaking earlier this year, the council said it was satisfied with the outcome and that it would claim for costs “so that the bill does not fall to the council taxpayers of Swansea”.

A council cabinet report about finances this month has referred to £130,000 income from the stadium case.

SSMC – now wholly owned by Swansea City FC – had alleged the original stadium works were defective and in breach of the contractual specification.

It was said there was corrosion to exposed steel structural elements as a result of paint delamination, and a slippery surface on the concourse and mezzanine floor.

These construction claims, however, were struck out because they were brought by SSMC four days after the expiry of the limitation period.

The venue operator then fell back on two secondary claims – one against Interserve and the other against the council, namely that the authority had failed to enforce its building contract rights.

But the judge found in favour of Interserve and the council.

SSMC had been incorporated the council, the football club and the Ospreys in order to operate the stadium for the benefit of the clubs – and it leased the Landore venue from the council.

The arrangements changed early last year when the Swans formally took control of the ground, which opened in 2005,  with the council receiving annual income.

SSMC arranged for the repair of the concourse and mezzanine floor in 2009. The football club will arrange for work to be carried out on the steel structure.

Neither the club nor the council wished to comment further.

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