A leisure centre’s swimming pool has been closed for seven months because of “inadequate” work to protect the roof – costing the council nearly £1 million so far.

Swimmers have been unable to use Finchley Lido Leisure Centre’s 25m pool since March this year after structural defects were found in the roof.

A council officer has now revealed materials in the roof appear not to have been properly protected during construction.

The current building, in Great North Leisure Park off High Road, North Finchley, was opened just 23 years ago, in 1996.

The loss of income from the pool has so far cost the council more than £700,000 – on top of £245,000 it has spent on propping up the roof.

Chris Smith, Barnet Council’s head of estate management, updated councillors on the condition of the building at a meeting of the financial performance and contracts committee on Monday (October 28).

Mr Smith said: “It seems to be there was inadequate protection on the surfaces of materials the roof is constructed of – both the steel work and the timber work.

“As long this was a design and build contract, which I think it was, the responsibility should be with the contractor – as long as that contractor is still trading.”

Mr Smith told councillors he was unable to say how long the pool would have to remain closed, or how much the final repair bill would be, as it would depend on the findings of an ‘intrusive survey’ that is currently taking place.

Cllr Arjun Mittra (Labour), East Finchley, said: “It is pretty disappointing that a building of a relatively young age seems to have so many problems.

“Do we still have the relevant paperwork about who completed the contracts? And why is it that these problems have only just surfaced now?”

Mr Smith said the paperwork should still be held by the council.

He added: “When it comes to identifying the issue itself, it is only the result of the condition survey being conducted that that kind of thing will be identified.

“If anything, it is a good indication that we have identified the problem before there was a significant health and safety issue.”

Finchley Lido Leisure Centre is owned by Barnet Council and managed by not-for-profit group Greenwich Leisure – also known as Better – under a ten-year contract.

An update report on the building is expected to come back to the next meeting of the committee on December 16.