Charette programme can boost pool bid

MOVES to raise around £4 million to rebuild Girvan’s swimming pool and provide the area with a state of the art leisure centre took a significant step forward this week.

South Ayrshire councillors returned from their summer break to the news that Girvan and South Carrick’s leisure facility project was chosen to be part of the Scottish Government’s “charette” programme.

It is hoped that the programme will give Girvan’s regeneration a higher profile and mean funds can be secured sooner.

Girvan and South Carrick councillor John McDowall was delighted to learn of the project’s success.

He said: “I am delighted that Girvan has been selected as one of only three projects in Scotland to take part in the Scottish Govenment’s SSCI Charrette programe.

“This was a bid submitted earlier this year and was up against stiff competition from another 12 projects around Scotland. Securing this project for Girvan will be a major boost in raising the profile of the proposed new multi-leisure facility at the harbour site to potential funding partners.

“This will assist South Carrick Community Leisure in their task of securing up to £4 million to match the council’s £4 million capital contribution.”

A charrette is a process in which a design team appointed by the Scottish Government will lead a series of community-based design consultations to help determine the concept of how the area around the proposed new leisure facility will look once the new structure is in place.

The team will be based in Girvan for one week to carry this out and it will be an opportunity for local residents to have a real input into how this area will look in landscape and environmental terms.

Mr McDowall added: “It should be noted, however, that this is not about the design of the new facility itself, which will have its own design team, but about the larger footprint aroung the new facility and the harbour area.”

The Labour Group leader at County Buildings also stressed that he would be seeking to meet with the council officer who replaces Roddy McDonald, who resigned earlier this year, as regeneration officer for South Carrick.

Mr McDowall continued: “I am also keen to ensure that the council officer who will be appointed to replace Roddy McDonald, who has now left the Council, is fully aware of the importance of the new leisure facility in the regeneration of Girvan and South Carrick and that this project does not experience any delay or slippage from the agreed timescales.

“To this end, I have already had discussions with the chief executive and executive director of the council and I have been assured that these timescales can be met.”

The project to build a new swimming pool in Girvan was also discussed at a meeting of the Carrick Community Councils Forum this week. A full report from that meeting can be found on page 4 of this week’s Carrick Gazette.