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Surely not? Could Bath Spa finally be about to open-

At long, long last the much-maligned and perennially late Bath Spa is finally expected to open its doors to the public on 7 August.

Having been embroiled in numerous rows, and following the sacking of contractor Mowlem, the leisure facility has had a wretched start.

It was originally commissioned in 1997 for completion in 2000.

After the extraordinary delays and problems, however, the local council now claims to be upbeat about the scheme.

'The Spa will be a fantastic boost to tourism, contributing up to £20 million to the local economy every year,' says Councillor Nicole O'Flaherty, executive member for tourism, culture and leisure.

'It is a positive landmark for the area, placing Bath and North East Somerset firmly on the map.'

Such positive comments on the project are unusual, since even the building's operator, Thermae Development, has declared it wished it had never become involved.

But despite its history, the local council says it is 'confident residents and visitors will appreciate and enjoy the magnificent building and what it has to offer for years to come.'

by Richard Vaughan

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