The undeniable case for building a public Community Facility with a focus on sport and liesure in Mid & Upper Annandale rests on the acceptance in the Council’s Leisure and Sports Facilities Strategy that there is a good case for the provision of a pool in Mid & Upper Annandale and Eskdale on the grounds of accessibility. The strategy divides Dumfries and Galloway into seven planning areas, Mid & Upper Annandale and Eskdale stands out with no swimming pool provision. The Council’s mission for its Leisure and Sports Service is to:
“…positively contribute towards making Dumfries and Galloway the best place in Scotland to live, learn, work, visit and grow.”
There are a number of facts supporting this argument, namely;
- Lockerbie is the largest town in Dumfries and Galloway without ready access to a pool. It is significantly larger than four communities with a pool, namely – Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbright, Newton Stewart and Sanquhar
- Lockerbie community has consistently demonstrated its strong desire for a pool over an extended period and has acquired a substantial amount of money towards the project.
- Lockerbie Academy is the third largest secondary school in Dumfries and Galloway and the pupils of several smaller secondary schools – for example, Castle Douglas High School, Kirkcudbright Academy and Sanquhar Academy – all have ready access to a local swimming pool.
- That in order to be able to benefit from the Council’s “free swimming for under 18s” initiative, people in this age group have first to get to a pool under their own steam. However, most are almost totally dependent on others for transport to facilities unless they live within walking or cycling distance. Therefore young people in the Lockerbie and Moffat area are seriously disadvantaged in terms of benefiting from free swimming, although their parents – Council Tax payers in Upper Annandale and Eskdale, are helping to fund the free swimming initiative.
- A pool in Lockerbie will have the potential to serve not only the Lockerbie area but also the communities from Eaglesfield to Moffat and Lochmaben to Langholm, including the local schools.
The Lockerbie Swimming Pool and Leisure Centre Trust was first established in 1995 following a public meeting to consider what kind of project the money donated to the town following the Pan Am Air disaster could be spent on to benefit the local community.
In 2009, the Trust funded an updated feasibility study, which re-enforced a clear need for a swimming pool and leisure facility in our area.
October 2011 saw a unanimous decision by the Policy and Resources Committee to pass ‘conditional ownership’ of the land at the former caravan park, Glasgow Road, Lockerbie to the Lockerbie Swimming Pool & Leisure Centre Trust for 5 years (to be reviewed in 3 years).
Community Consultation survey was also carried out in 2014 which showed overwhelming public support.
We currently have a Facebook page with a following of over 1000 friends supporting our charity and our new website with a secure online donation facility.
Opportunities – We value providing active, healthy and culturally enriched opportunities that are inclusive to all members of our communities.
Service – We value our customers, understanding what they want and providing continuous improvement that encompasses service quality, facility investment and programme development.
People – We value our team members, investing in them to meet business and customer needs as well as encouraging personal development and professional pride.
Partnerships – We value our role as a successful social enterprise, working with partners to achieve mutually beneficial social and cultural outcomes for the benefit of all stakeholders.
Sustainability – We value sustainable business success; including developing, communicating and implementing clear business and investment strategies that benefit Lockerbie, our stakeholders and the environment
*denotes person closely involved with the trust who is not a Trustee
|First Name||Last Name||Role|
|Robert||McDonald||1 - Convenor & Trustee|
|Jennifer||McLeod||2 - Secretary & Trustee|
|Ross||McGarva||3 - Treasurer & Trustee|
|Anne||McDonald||4 - Trustee|
|Catherine||Hastings||4 - Trustee|
|Annette||Young||4 - Trustee|
|David||Mundell (MP)||4 - Trustee|
|Doreen||Jenkins||4 - Trustee|
|Peter||Barlow||4 - Trustee|
|Robert||Togneri||5 - Supporter*|
|Gail||Macgregor||5 - Supporter*|
|John||Murray||7 - Employed*|
|Community Use||The Community Facility will be a community swimming and recreational facility for the use of all communities’ individuals and groups the focus will be on accessibility not exclusivity and target flexible services will be introduced to offer a range of opportunities to all.|
|Education and Training||The Community Facility will be a centre of education, training and development, in swimming health and fitness and social life skills.|
|Environmental Responsibility||The LSPLCT take seriously its responsibility to the environment. The Community Facility will be built to represent environmental responsibility, using green and renewable sources of energy and other green initiatives where appropriate and attainable.|
|Quality Services||The Community Facility will work hard to attain and retain the quality assurance standards the leisure industry demand. We will also seek to attain and retain quality awards in non-leisure related fields where appropriate and attainable.|
The primary focus for the Trust is to commence building of a facility within the next 2 years but ideally in 2015. Currently the Trust has raised funds and pledges totalling £506,866 of the £3million required. Funds held by the Trust are invested and managed by the Trust treasurer.
The table below is a simple consolidated time-line for the proposed development; a more comprehensive time-line is available. The Trust are seeking to now implement the following programme.
In order to achieve our stated aims we have four specific areas we are working towards achieving, these are:-
- A place to build the facility
- A design of the facility
- Money to build the facility
- Establishing a Community Business.
The First Aim is already met. DGC through the Policy and Resources Committee has agreed to sell the land, specified above, with the following conditions
- That if it the land is not used to build a swimming pool the Trust must sell it back to DGC.
- That a building must be in place or well on line to being in place by autumn of 2016
Progress of the Trust will be reviewed late 2014 and 2016 in co-operation with DGC.
The Second Aim of the project is to secure a design of the building which will meet all or most of the needs of Lockerbie. The steps currently being pursued are to obtain detailed architectural plans from three sources and to then reduce that to one preferred company with whom the Trust will take forward the design to a detailed planning application. This process will be complete in the autumn/ winter of 2013.
The Third Aim is to raise sufficient funding and pledges of funding to allow building work to be started and the appointment of a suitable professional to oversee the work.
The Trust is pursuing a number of strategies aimed at raising public awareness and encouraging donations to be made. Newly created web and Facebook pages went live in 2012 with the facility for anyone to make secure online donations compliant with HMRC guidelines.
Press releases have been sent out to a variety of media outlets that are proving supportive.
Work is on-going in identifying and applying to relevant sporting bodies and organisations for support, grants, pledges and donations. The Trust is seeking finance from three areas:-
- Finance through grants and awards from national and local bodies for the capital build and or specific parts of the capital build.
- Finance through their own fund raising activities
- Finance initiatives, partnerships, sponsorship.
The Fourth Aim when nearing completion of the build the Trust will employ appropriately qualified and experienced operational staff and volunteers to operate the facility. The Board of Trustees will evolve into a supportive Board of Management ensuring aims are met, providing oversight and support while working to further maintain and enhance the facility.