Vow to back sports cen­tre cash bid

The Oban Times - - News 9 -

A HIGH­LAND MSP has pledged her sup­port to help plug the fund­ing gap for a new Lochaber in­door sports cen­tre.

The pro­posed multi-use cen­tre in Fort Wil­liam is still £ 500,000 short of the £1.47 mil­lion re­quired.

And at a meet­ing with Lochaber cham­ber of com­merce, High­lands and Is­lands MSP Rhoda Grant promised to help Lochaber sports as­so­ci­a­tion find the re­main­ing money by con­tact­ing po­ten­tial fund­ing back­ers.

She said: ‘This would en­able schools, clubs and the sur­round­ing Lochaber com­mu­nity to have ac­cess to a fa­cil­ity that would al­low sport and ac­tiv­i­ties all year round.

‘Fort Wil­liam is famed for its out­door ac­tiv­i­ties, and also the rain, so hav­ing a pur­pose-built in­door sports hub would pro­vide a ma­jor boost for Lochaber.

‘I will be con­tact­ing High­land coun­cil, Sports Scot­land and other po­ten­tial fi­nan­cial back­ers in an ef­fort to sup­port the fund­ing bid and to shore up the cur­rent £ 500,000 fund­ing gap for the de­vel­op­ment. I am con­vinced of the need to se­cure this fa­cil­ity for Lochaber and will seek to sup­port the bid and Lochaber cham­ber of com­merce in their work to en­sure Fort Wil­liam gets this im­por­tant in­door sport hub.’

Bruno Ber­ardelli, cham­ber chair­man, said: ‘We were de­lighted that Rhoda made the time to come and meet Lochaber cham­ber and we had a very con­struc­tive dis­cus­sion. We high­lighted our sup­port for Lochaber sports as­so­ci­a­tion’s work to de­velop an in­door sports fa­cil­ity and of the im­por­tance of re­tain­ing ex­ist­ing leisure fa­cil­i­ties in­clud­ing Mal­laig swimming pool and the Ne­vis cen­tre, which are un­der threat from bud­get cuts. Lochaber is a fan­tas­tic area, and the undis­puted out­door cap­i­tal of the UK. But we do get the oc­ca­sional wet spell, so it is cru­cial we have in­door ameni­ties for tourists and lo­cals.’

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