Nevis Centre upgrade plans to be unveiled at public meeting
DETAILS of a £1.5m refurbishment of the Nevis Centre in Fort William will be unveiled later this month by operators Linnhe Leisure.
Plans to fix the 20-year- old leaking roof and re- design the foyer are among the items to be discussed at a public meeting on Tuesday June 27.
Despite a cut in funding from the Highland Council of almost 50 per cent last year, the centre has appointed Fort William architects Kearney Donald Partnership to draw up plans for the project which it is hoped will start later this year. Speaking to the Lochaber
Times, Linnhe Leisure chairwoman Sheana Fraser said she hopes to give the community a better understanding of how the centre is run and a chance to get involved with the upgrade of this ‘ vital community resource’.
‘The Nevis Centre building is leased by the Highland Council, but Linnhe Leisure is the charitable company, managed by volunteers, that runs the centre. This is a community resource and all the money that is made goes back into the company and the running of the centre.
‘With this public event, we are asking what people want to see done with the Nevis Centre and will be showing, in particular, what the foyer area could look like. We are looking for their comments on what they think of our plans.
‘We want to make the foyer more welcoming and more of a social space for people coming in. But the roof leaks so badly we can’t do anything inside until it is fixed and that’s going to cost us more than £ 350,000.
‘If the centre is refurbished we hope that would encourage more people to use it and develop into new markets, including businesses using the space for conferences or workshops. There’s potential there that has not been fully developed. That way we can bring in more income and make it more sustainable, because we need to make up the grant funding we have lost.’
Despite a year- on-year cut in funding from the local authority, the council awarded the centre £250,000 through its capital discretionary fund last year.
‘ We are delighted the capital fund gave us £250,000, but we are still on a funding package. We have some capital reserves and we have the support of HIE and LEADER.’
The centre has faced challenging times over the last four years, but Ms Fraser said it is looking to the future: ‘The businesses has now stabilised, thanks to new management and committed staff. We are looking to the future.’
Head along to the Nevis Centre on Tuesday June 27 between 2pm and 4pm to see the plans and have your say.
We are looking for their comments on what they think of our plans