Pool project takes plunge after lottery lift

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Plans to redevelop Mid Argyll Community Pool have taken a huge step forward with a National Lottery cash injection.

The ambitious masterplan to transform MACPool into a health and wellbeing community hub was boosted this week by news that the National Lottery Community Fund has awarded a grant of £700,000 to the project. This comes in addition to a grant of £400,000 from the Scottish Government Regeneration Capital Grant Fund awarded in February and £95,000 from the Robertson Trust.

Pictured at a MACPool redevelopment open day in 2019 are, from left: Pool manager Fiona MacAlpine, board member Lynn Shaw, architect Nicola Farquhar, MACPool chair Kim Ritchie, Councillor Donnie MacMillan and Mary Stewart, MACPool community engagement officer

Together, these funders have provided MACPool with 90 per cent of the capital build costs of the project, with applications for the remaining 10 per cent well advanced.

The lottery funding means that the group overseeing the project, Mid Argyll Community Enterprises Ltd, can brief architects and move closer to the construction stage without further delay.

Kim Ritchie, chair of the MACPool board said: ‘This is such exciting news, not just for MACPool but for the entire community of Mid Argyll.

‘We are so grateful to the National Lottery Community Fund, the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund – and to Argyll and Bute Council, which sponsored our application – and to the Robertson Trust for this major investment in our future.

‘We can’t wait to get started.’

The redeveloped MACPool will feature:

  • A welcoming and fully accessible community space and café
  • Soft play facilities for younger children
  • A modern and fully accessible shower and changing area for a wide range of users (including a changing place)
  • Multi purpose activities and therapy spaces for community and business use

Building work is scheduled to start in January 2021.

The capital build cost is, however, not the whole story and funding applications still need to be submitted for fit-out and revenue costs – though £50,000 of these have already been secured from the Co-op Communities Fund and FCC Scottish Action Fund.

Mrs Ritchie added: ‘It wouldn’t be a community pool without the opportunity for members of the community to contribute, so watch this space to see how you can be involved in building the future of your pool.’