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A Mid Argyll community group has been awarded £315,788 from the Scottish Land Fund to kickstart its plans to redevelop its swimming pool.
Mid Argyll Community Enterprises can now buy the land MacPool is built on, as well as two adjoining buildings, to revamp the area.
Proposed changes include upgrading the current swimming and changing areas, a new public gallery, a community cafe and a soft play area.
Kim Ritchie, chairwoman of Mid Argyll Community Enterprises, said: ‘This award from Scottish Land Fund is the first crucial step in our exciting plans to develop and expand the facilities at MacPool, enabling us to deliver more and better services to the community of Mid Argyll.
‘The board and staff of MacPool are very grateful to the Scottish Land Fund for this great opportunity.’
Mid Argyll Community Enterprises will be using the money to buy the current Argyll and Bute Citizens Advice Bureau (ABCAB) building and the Riverside Rascals Nursery and bring the site into community ownership.
ABCAB will remain at its current premises for now and Riverside Rascals will not be affected by the planned re-development.
MACPool joins a list of community projects across Scotland who will share a £1.2m pot for community projects and initiatives.
Councillor Donnie MacMillan, who attended the opening of the pool 22 years ago, said: ‘I am delighted the pool has received the grant. Congratulations to all the staff for this achievement.
‘The pool is a tremendous asset to the local community and to visitors to Mid Argyll.’
Councillor Dougie Philand said: ‘I congratulate the board and staff for all their hard work in securing such a sizeable grant. This will allow MACPool to progress plans it has to maintain the security and sustainability of the pool. Well done to everyone.’
Michael Russell MSP said: ‘I am delighted that the Scottish Land Fund has made this decision. I am a great enthusiast for MacPool, and I got that enthusiasm from the late Bob McIlwraith who was a tireless campaigner for the pool and the benefit it brought to the community.
‘The present board has done a great job taking forward ambitious expansion plans and I look forward to continuing to support those ideas and seeing them come to fruition.’
John Watt, Scottish Land Fund committee chairman, said: ‘I am delighted to see such a wide range of projects benefiting from this latest Scottish Land Fund investment.
‘Whether it’s buying land to build new social housing or developing an existing asset like a pub or swimming pool, each initiative shows just what can be achieved when local people are encouraged and supported to pursue their community ownership ambition.’