Lochgilphead youth vision takes shape

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The promise of Haribo sweets might have had something to do with it, but a big crowd of teenagers gathered round plans for a new youth centre.

After years of hope, draft drawings for a proposed Mid Argyll Youth Development Services (MAYDS) activity centre were unveiled last week at Lochgilphead Joint Campus.

Earlier this year MAYDS received a grant of £155,118 from the Scottish Land Fund, allowing it to buy land in Lochgilphead to build a much-needed youth centre.

The cash boost meant MAYDS could arrange with Argyll and Bute Council to buy the building from which they currently operate, along with two adjacent pieces of land.

The demand for such a centre was clear – demonstrated by an online petition for a skate park which attracted more than 20,000 signatures.

MAYDS centre manager Fiona Kalache said: ‘We are just delighted to be able to start this journey. It has been talked about for so long.

‘It’s great to have the input of the youngsters here at the school and we will be getting their ideas and adding them to plans for the centre when it is built.

‘It’s about providing something for young people that doesn’t currently exist in Mid Argyll,’ added Fiona.

‘We are looking at providing things like a skate park, roller disco, climbing wall and a play area for young people. We may even look at hiring equipment such as scooters.’

Also present at Friday’s school display was architect Gary Pinkerton, a director with Grant Murray. He is excited about the possibilities in Lochgilphead and told the Advertiser: ‘It is always great to work with local communities with a strong vision of how they want to improve facilities in their area and I hope we can help them to make the project a reality.

‘Through events like the one at the school, we hope we can involve the youngsters in the process as much as possible and input their ideas and aspirations in the proposals.’

He added: ‘We hope to meet with the council’s planning department in the coming weeks to discuss the proposals with a view to submitting the full application in the near future. This will then give us a clearer indication of the direction the project will take.’


Architect Gary Pinkerton canvasses the views of pupils at Lochgilphead Joint Campus. 06_a40MAYDSproject02

An early architect’s impression of how the facility might look, ahead of discussions with the planning department. no_a40MAYDSproject01