The confirmation of the site start comes as the project to build the new facility, which will cost a total of £6 million (including all furniture and equipment), reached its formal ‘financial close’ – the final piece in the jigsaw before construction can start.
The new building, which will be operated by South Carrick Community Leisure (SCCL) through a service level agreement, will transform leisure and community facilities across the area. It will be home to a 25 metre swimming pool, soft play area, superb fitness gym, flexible multi-purpose studio/community space, changing facilities and café.
To achieve financial close and allow the works to get underway, South Ayrshire Council has committed a further £350,000 capital funding for the project, taking its total capital contribution to £4.35 million – more than 72% of the overall costs.
In addition, the Council is investing £200,000 revenue funding every year to support the running of the facility – this will total £8 million over the duration of the 40-year lease which is proposed with SCCL.
The remaining monies have come from a number of funding partners, including: sportscotland (£400,000), Scottish Government Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (£250,000), Carrick Futures (£250,000), Girvan Regeneration Fund (£157,000), Hadyard Hill Community Benefit Fund (£100,000), Scottish Power Renewables Kilgallioch Wind Farm (£100,000) and the William Grant Foundation (£50,000).
Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council, said: “The new leisure and community facility will be the first of its kind built by this Council in almost 20 years and I couldn’t be more proud that it will be making a huge difference for people and communities in Girvan and South Carrick.
“The fact that we know work will start very soon, with the new facility scheduled to open in spring 2017, is testament to the efforts of the Council and South Carrick Community Leisure in coming together to deliver something real, practical and – crucially – sustainable for local residents and visitors alike.
“Our aim was always to do things in the right way and, in partnership with SCCL and the terrific community input it offered, that’s exactly what we’re doing. There’s a new era about to get underway in Girvan and South Carrick and it starts now – I hope every person, in every community, is ready to play their part in ensuring its success.”
Andrew Sinclair, Chair of SCCL, added: “I’m sure like many people, there have been times when I wondered if we would ever reach this point and it’s thanks to the tenacity of SCCL and the people of Girvan and South Carrick, with the support of the Council, that we’re now on the cusp of one of the most exciting projects this area has ever seen.
“This building is about much more than a swimming pool – or a gym, or a soft play area for that matter. It’s about investment in a community, belief in a community and making a difference for a community, and that is simply priceless.
“However, as a community, we all have a job to do to pay back on that investment and belief. In just over a year, we’ll have a new facility that will need regular paying customers and a growing membership – and that means you. As a community, it’s up to us to make sure this new facility is a success and is here to stay, and that work starts now.”
Michael McBrearty, Chief Executive, hub South West Scotland, said: “We have once again enjoyed a positive working relationship with South Ayrshire Council to develop and deliver a facility which will deliver real community benefit both through its delivery and into its operation.
“This completion marks the sixth project we have closed with the Council and our second in 2016. We are proud to have been part of a project which has the community at its heart and congratulate SCCL and the people of Carrick on reaching this important milestone.
“The project further demonstrates hub’s ability to deliver a range of projects and deliver meaningful benefits to the wider community.”
Morrison Construction Ltd has been appointed as the design and build contractor for the project through hub South West, which was set up by the Scottish Futures Trust to deliver major public sector building projects.