The need to refurbish Mallaig Pool & Leisure Centre
With the Atlantic and Loch Nevis to the west, Loch Morar to the east and the Sound of Sleat to the north, the people of Mallaig and the wider community are almost completely surrounded by dangerous bodies of water. With this in mind, it was deemed critical that a swimming pool should be built to encourage all members of the community to learn how to swim.
Mallaig Pool & Leisure Centre opened its doors to the public in 1993 and has since established itself as a real community enterprise with real community spirit, where countless adults and children have learnt to swim in the wonderful pool. Therefore, we’re really pleased that Mallaig Pool & Leisure has fulfilled its original purpose and our fantastic swimming coaches will continue to work with the community, helping them keep their heads above water.
Unfortunately, the Leisure Centre now has a new fish to fry! In the three decades since its grand opening, there has been a huge surge in the levels of obesity in the UK. Nearly two-thirds of men and women are now overweight and more than one in four do less than 30 minutes exercise a week.
The people of Mallaig and the wider community are not exempt from this sedentary lifestyle and the Leisure Centre must now ensure that it’s doing everything it can to support the community in being as fit and healthy as possible. Although our pool, gym and fitness classes are often busy and well attended, the Leisure Centre is looking tired and dated, and desperately needs to be transformed into a modern and dynamic leisure facility, which in turn, will encourage the community to use the Centre more.
Since 2017 we have raised just over £400,000 as part of a £1m campaign to secure funding to reinvent and breathe new life into the Leisure Centre, making it more of a community hub rather than simply a place where you come to exercise. We hope a new café with views to the adjacent football field and the spectacular seascape of the Small Isles in the West, and new treatment and meeting rooms will inspire the community to use the Leisure Centre as often as possible.
Thanks to a great effort of our members, volunteers, sponsors and funding organisations the first phase of the refurbishment project has now been completed.
Progress of the refurbishment
#DMDConstruction have done a fantastic job to get our shiny new compact café space ready to serve you. The café is now open and our Reception Team is readily available to make you a refreshing tea, cappuccino or a hot chocolate, served with mouth-watering muffins, or a slice of filling pizza – super exciting! 😉
The extension is all glass so lots of natural light will be flooding in from the south-west looking straight towards the pitch, it will be a perfect place to watch a game during the famous Scottish rainy days. It should take about 20 customers seated, or up to 50 standing.
Thanks to the #HighlandLEADERProgramme, Highlands &Islands Enterprise #HIE & the Mackintosh Foundation for funding the project and for their amazing support, to #DavidMeeArchitects for getting us over the start line – but most especially thanks to the Friends of Mallaig Pool who contributed £7,000, and to our whole community who have fundraised & donated over the past few years to raise another £11,000 to make this a reality.
This is for all of you
Please keep an eye out for news regarding the second phase of the project – the upgrade of the changing areas.