SCOTTISH ministers have handed more than £180 million to contracts involving a construction firm whose work on a botched leisure centre was branded “criminal” in Holyrood.

Figures show tens of millions have been allocated to hospital projects spearheaded by Kier Construction, while £115m was contributed towards its public contracts to build schools.

The Scottish Government has confirmed it is now writing to all “contracting authorities” to draw their attention to a damning report into Kier’s handling of DG One leisure centre in Dumfries.

It comes as police said they are examining an independent review into the leisure centre’s construction for any evidence of criminality.

An inquiry by Professor John Cole found the facility suffered from a “virtually unprecedented” number of faults permeating nearly all aspects of the building – with more money now expected to be spent repairing it than the structure cost to build.

Scottish Labour MSP Colin Smyth has called for a full criminal investigation into the building of DG One.

He said: “It is a scandal that the company responsible for the flawed construction of DG One are continuing to rake in millions of pounds of taxpayers money from the Government to build schools and hospitals across Scotland.”

The Scottish Government has contributed – or is contributing – £181m towards projects where Kier is the contractor.

This includes £115m on new school facilities, including a long-awaited replacement for Alness Academy in the Highlands and a new base for Queen Margaret Academy in Ayr.

A total of £24.5m was pumped into the new William McIlvanney Campus in Kilmarnock, which was completed earlier this year.

Meanwhile, £65.8m has been handed over to NHS construction contracts led by Kier, including £34.5m to build new facilities at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital in Clydebank.

A Scottish Government spokesman said it will pay "extremely close attention" to the findings of Professor Cole's report into the botched construction of DG One.

He added: "We will then take further action if that is what is required."

DG One leisure centre was originally billed as a flagship, high-quality project that would “grow old gracefully”, but was so badly built that vast portions of it have had to be demolished and rebuilt.

A report by Professor Cole, who also spearheaded a probe into building failures at Edinburgh’s schools, found Kier Northern – now Kier Construction Scotland and North East – was “unquestionably” responsible.

He wrote: “In the opinion of the inquiry the extent and nature of the defects discovered are evidence of a lack of care, attention, basic construction skills or understanding of some of the fundamental principles of good construction on the part of those who built this building and those who supervised them.”

More than £19 million of repairs are expected to be carried out at DG One to fix its catalogue of faults.

The fiasco sparked a long-running legal wrangle between the council and Kier, before an out-of-court settlement saw the local authority handed £9.5 million in damages and legal costs.

A Kier spokeswoman stressed the company's 40-year track record and "leading reputation".

She said: “Prior to the production of the report, Kier and our client, Dumfries and Galloway Council, agreed that there were unacceptable defects in the build.

"As a committed and accountable partner, Kier agreed, with the council, the amount that it would contribute to the remedial works.

"DG One was delivered by the former Kier Northern's Carlisle office, over ten years ago. Kier Construction has worked in Scotland for over 40 years and in that time has proudly delivered many projects, large and small, with over £700m of work successfully completed over the last five years.

"Kier has a leading reputation in the industry for safety, efficiency, quality and long-term commitment to our clients and communities and we have invested significantly over the years in a number of ways which are designed to ensure our projects are delivered to a high standard.

"We contribute to a wide range of activities which benefit the communities in which we work, demonstrating our commitment to local procurement and to helping young people to further their careers."