Fundraising plan to save Mallaig pool
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.’