Fundrais­ing plan to save Mal­laig pool

The Oban Times - - The Oban Times & West Highland Times -

MAL­LAIG and Dis­trict Swim­ming Pool is em­bark­ing on a fundrais­ing ef­fort to raise £1.1mil­lion for es­sen­tial re­fur­bish­ment that will ‘se­cure the fa­cil­ity’s fu­ture’, writes El­lie Forbes.

Twenty-three years of ser­vice has taken its toll, with vi­tal equip­ment fail­ing, which could force the pool to close and mean users hav­ing to travel around 40 miles to Fort Wil­liam.

An ap­pli­ca­tion for £275,000 has been lodged with the High­land Coun­cil to sup­port the pro­ject, and the pool’s board is also ask­ing for com­mu­nity help through an on­line crowd­fund­ing cam­paign.

Fiona Baker, chair­woman of Mal­laig and Dis­trict Swim­ming Pool, said: ‘With a fail­ing build­ing and pub­lic fund­ing be­ing squeezed, we must en­sure the busi­ness and build­ing are fit for pur­pose to meet the chal­lenges of the com­ing years.

‘This re­fur­bish­ment will not only mod­ernise the build­ing for a bet­ter cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence, but, cru­cially, will al­low us to push run­ning costs down and in­come up, which needs to hap­pen if we are to re­main open.’

Over the past 23 years, 2,420 chil­dren have learned to swim at the pool.

Mrs Baker added: ‘Mal­laig pool has been an amaz­ing suc­cess story – teach­ing the com­mu­nity to swim, cater­ing for fit­ness and health needs, pro­vid­ing year­round em­ploy­ment and serv­ing the tourist industry.’

A spokesper­son for the High­land Coun­cil con­firmed the pool’s ap­pli­ca­tion had been re­ceived, adding: ‘Dis­cus­sions are at an early stage and will re­quire fur­ther scru­tiny be­fore the coun­cil can reach a de­ci­sion on any fund­ing.’

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