De­light as MACPool lands re­de­vel­op­ment fund­ing

Argyllshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Emily Jami­son edi­tor@ar­gyll­shiread­ver­

A MID Ar­gyll com­mu­nity group has been awarded £315,788 from the Scot­tish Land Fund to kick­start its plans to re­de­velop its swim­ming pool.

Mid Ar­gyll Com­mu­nity En­ter­prise can now buy the land MACPool is built on, as well as two ad­join­ing build­ings, to re­vamp the area.

Pro­posed changes in­clude up­grad­ing the current swim­ming and chang­ing ar­eas, a new pub­lic gallery, a com­mu­nity cafe and a soft play area.

Kim Ritchie, chair­woman of Mid Ar­gyll Com­mu­nity En­ter­prises, said: ‘This award from Scot­tish Land Fund is the first cru­cial step in our ex­cit­ing plans to de­velop and ex­pand the fa­cil­i­ties at MACPool, en­abling us to de­liver more and bet­ter ser­vices to the com­mu­nity of Mid Ar­gyll.

‘The board and staff of MACPool are very grate­ful to the Scot­tish Land Fund for this great op­por­tu­nity.’

Mid Ar­gyll Com­mu­nity En­ter­prises will be us­ing the money to buy the current Ar­gyll and Bute Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Bu­reau (ABCAB) build­ing and the River­side Ras­cals Nurs­ery and bring the site into com­mu­nity own­er­ship.

ABCAB will re­main at its current premises for now and River­side Ras­cals will not be af­fected by the planned re­de­vel­op­ment.

MACPool joins a list of com­mu­nity projects across Scot­land which will share a £1.2m pot for com­mu­nity projects and ini­tia­tives.

Coun­cil­lor Don­nie MacMil­lan, who at­tended the open­ing of the pool 22 years ago, said: ‘I am de­lighted the pool has re­ceived the grant.

‘Con­grat­u­la­tions to all the staff for this achieve­ment.

‘The pool is a tremen­dous as­set to the lo­cal com­mu­nity and to vis­i­tors to Mid Ar­gyll.’ Coun­cil­lor Dougie Phi­land added: ‘I con­grat­u­late the board and staff for all their hard work in se­cur­ing such a size­able grant. This will al­low MACPool to progress plans it has to main­tain the se­cu­rity and sus­tain­abil­ity of the pool. Well done to ev­ery­one.’

John Watt, Scot­tish Land Fund com­mit­tee chair­man, said: ‘I am de­lighted to see such a wide range of projects ben­e­fit­ing from this lat­est Scot­tish Land Fund in­vest­ment.

‘Whether it’s buy­ing land to build new so­cial hous­ing or de­vel­op­ing an ex­ist­ing as­set like a pub or swim­ming pool, each ini­tia­tive shows just what can be achieved when lo­cal peo­ple are encouraged and sup­ported to pur­sue their com­mu­nity own­er­ship am­bi­tion.’

Michael Rus­sell MSP said: ‘I am de­lighted that the Scot­tish Land Fund has made this de­ci­sion. I am a great en­thu­si­ast for MACPool, and I got that en­thu­si­asm from the late Bob McIl­wraith who was a tire­less cam­paigner for the pool and the ben­e­fit it brought to the com­mu­nity.

‘The present board has done a great job tak­ing for­ward am­bi­tious ex­pan­sion plans and I look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to sup­port those ideas and see­ing them come to fruition.’

Mid Ar­gyll En­ter­prises chair­woman Kim Ritchie with Kath Craig, Rowan MacIn­tyre, board mem­ber Andy Knox, MACPool man­ager Gra­ham Love, Jack John­son and Molly Dykes.

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