Liberty Stadium embroiled in legal row over safety concerns

Swansea Stadium Management Company (SSMC), operator of the Welsh city’s Liberty Stadium, is suing Swansea Council and the venue’s builder, Interserve Construction, over claims the facility has “defects” and is not completely safe.

Issued in April 2017, the claim states that the steel structure of the stadium is suffering corrosion. SSMC also said a number of visitors have fallen due to slippery surfaces inside the venue.

According to the BBC, SSMC is seeking £1.3m (€1.5m/$1.7m) in damages, but the council has so far denied responsibility for the alleged defects. The case is due to be heard in the High Court this October.

The council said part of the claim has already been struck out of the High Court, while the section of the claim against Interserve was also removed after being put forward beyond a 12-year deadline. The stadium opened in 2005.

In a statement, a council spokesman added: “The council has clearly stated we are not responsible for the alleged defects and we will robustly defend our position in order to protect Swansea taxpayers’ money.”

Interserve also issued a statement on the case: “The claim that is left is in respect of clause 16 in the contract, which is essentially defects that were identified in the defect liability period, one year after practical completion, with a question as to whether these defects were made good or not.”

SSMC, which has declined to comment on the case, is a venture between the two tenants of the stadium – Championship football club Swansea City and Pro14 rugby union team Ospreys – and the local council.

The organisation had led the venue under a 50-year lease, but Swansea City took control of SSMC in November last year.

Image: Christopher Elkins