Residents had their says on the future of a new £10m leisure centre facility in the Isle of Man - and the finances of the local authority behind it - during a special requisition meeting this week.

The public meeting at Braddan’s Roundhouse on Monday evening was organised shortly after residents learned in February that their local authority rates were set to shoot up by 36.6% from April.

A total of 12 Braddan residents put their name to a letter calling for a requisition meeting over the huge rate rise - the highest on the island - and a meeting was called by the Captain of the Parish.

And around 150 constituents packed in to the facility’s main hall last night to make their feelings known.

One bone of contention was the increased cost of building the Roundhouse, the main reason behind the astronomic rate rise for residents.

The facility, which includes a cafe, playground, sports hall, nursery and health facilities, was originally meant to be open and completed by August 2023.

However, the centre only started opening up weeks ago and is estimated to have cost around £3.4 million more than its initial budget.

And to make matters worse, the Isle of Man Government has officially been restricting vehicle access to the site since March 4 due to a protracted row over safety concerns relating to the nearby Noble’s hospital.

During the requisition meeting, which was recorded by Manx Radio, many residents took the opportunity to quiz Commissioners on its financial strategy in light of the Roundhouse’s issues and the rate rise.

One said: ‘It sounds to me like you’ve done this on the back of a fag packet, literally,’

‘It’s almost like you’re making it up as you’re going along tonight, that’s the impression I’m getting, and I think other people here are as well.

‘It was [the initial cost of the Roundhouse] was £3.5 million.

‘When you [Commissioners] went to tender, you had three quotes of £7m to build [it].

‘As a businessman, I would have looked at this and thought “well hang on, this has doubled in that period. Is this viable for me to carry on with?”.

‘You guys [Commissioners] must have had these conversations and if you didn’t, we’re in an even worse situation than I thought we were.’

Middle MHK Jane Poole-Wilson told the meeting she recused herself from the Council of Ministers in relation to Roundhouse as she had ‘wanted to represent the community’ on the matter.

‘I think a number of things have been highlighted by all of you and your questions,’ she said.

‘I think the truth is that these things are complex so while I absolutely empathize that there are a number of issues that need resolving I think my understanding is that they want to work with Commissioners to resolve these things in the interest of the community and the local businesses who are being impacted.

‘I don’t think it’s possible to easily wave a magic wand because the number of questions and the issues you’ve raised have highlighted some of the complexities around [the issue].’

In a statement online after the meeting, Douglas South MHK Claire Christian said she’d attended the meeting following concerns from some of her constituents. She said: ‘My gut feeling [is that] we haven’t heard the last about this development.

‘While I believe the businesses currently there will be a success as they are run by very passionate individuals, I do worry about the long-term financial commitment to support this building.

‘Potentially this could eventually end up either being subsidised by central government (ultimately tax payers) or if in fact an all-island leisure rate came to pass, again then being paid for by all island residents.

‘Central Government and Braddan Commissioners must collaborate to get the round house fully operational to maximize revenue to offset the debt, or else Central Government might ultimately bear the financial burden regardless.’