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Highland Life / News / Highland Council News / Olympian opens Highland leisure centre

Olympian opens Highland leisure centre

Issued: 3 Aug 2007

Craig MacLean, Olympic medallist, World and Commonwealth cycling Champion will officially open a £2.4 million leisure centre in Grantown on Spey tomorrow (Saturday 4th August) which is named in his honour.

A host of guests and members of the public will mark the occasion of the official opening and naming of The Craig MacLean Leisure Centre at a plaque unveiling ceremony in the new centre's sports hall.

Craig said: "I feel honoured and extremely proud to be associated with this wonderful new leisure centre in my home town. As well as providing a facility to suit all ages and activities for the area it may be the beginning of the road for future Olympic and World Champions from the area. I would like to pay tribute to the people who made this possible who gave me so much of their time, who never gave up despite setbacks and can now see the results of their dedication to a project that will put Granotwn up there with the best of them and serve the community and visitors for many years to come."

Local Highland Councillor Jaci Douglas said: "Our go thanks go to Craig MacLean for opening and accepting the name of this magnificent new leisure centre in his name. This is a great day for Grantown and the wider community of Badenoch and Strathpey and indeed for Highland as this is an additional centre now participating in the Council's High Life leisure access scheme which offers afforable access to Highland leisure facilities."

Ian Findlay, Chairman Craig MacLean Centre Management Group said: "The facilities here are a testament to the community's vision and determination. The hard part is over and it's now time for us in the community to make the most of the centre and to use it."

Included in the Craig MacLean Leisure Centre is a 4-court sports hall which facilitates a substantial variety of indoor sports including basketball, netball, volleyball, tennis, badminton, archery, trampolining, football, hockey, athletics, and gymnastics. The centre also provides a new gym and field sports changing rooms and fitness suite with cardio-vascular and resistance training equipment. In addition to this a reception area links all facilities including access to the 20m traditional swimming pool.

The idea of a sports complex was first conceived in 1988 by Councillor Basil Dunlop and the late Mr Gordon McCulloch, former Chairpersons of the original Steering Group which started the community project in the same year. This became the Strathspey Leisure and Recreational Trust which, led by Mr McCulloch, progressed the project and raised substantial local funding. In 2002 changes in national funding criteria required The Highland Council's Education, Culture and Sport Service to sponsor the project.

Funding for the project was received from the Big Lottery Fund £931,122, sportscotland £300,000 and Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey Enterprise £120,000 and the Strathspey Leisure and Recreation Trust have contributed £100,000 which has been raised through many years hard work fund-raising in the local community. The Highland Council met the balance of £950,000.

Alison Magee, Chair of Big Lottery Fund Scotland said: "We are delighted to be one of the main funders for this new leisure centre. It is always great to see facilities of this kind opening up in local communities especially in this case where such a wide range of activities will be available. I'm really pleased that the building uses sustainable design and although I know people in Grantown have waited a long time for their leisure centre hope they all now feel it was worth it."

Julia Bracewell OBE, Chair of sportscotland said: "sportscotland is delighted to have supported the creation of the Craig MacLean Leisure Centre with a Lottery award of £300,000 from the sportscotland Building for Sport programme, which will benefit the whole community of Badenoch and Strathspey.

"sportscotland is committed to providing quality, accessible facilities for communities across Scotland. There needs to be the right quality and mix of facilities to provide opportunities to participate in a range of sports, driving an increase in participation, as well as supporting those with aspirations to compete at a higher level. This is a great community facility here at Grantown-on-Spey and hopefully naming the centre after Craig will inspire young people to follow in his footsteps."

Colin Grant, Development Manager of HIE Inverness and East Highland said: "The HIE network is delighted to be a part of a project that will add so much to the strength of the local community through a new building which utilises modern technology to good effect."

Designed by The Highland Council's Property and Architectural Services, the complex includes a strong element of sustainable design, which has high insulation, natural ventilation, and the use of technologies such as ground source heat pumps and timber cladding. The main contractor was Les Taylor Construction (Northern) Ltd.

Artwork by Grantown Grammar School pupils, Zoe Campbell, Caitlin Currie, Megan Jones, Finlay Muir and Eleanor Wilson features on glass panels within the Sports Complex reception area, gym and games hall viewing area.

Consultations with, and input from, Grantown Grammar School, Grantown Golf Club and Strathspey Leisure Recreational Trust, contributed significantly in attracting external funding without which it would not have been possible to develop this project.

Operated by The Highland Council's Education, Culture and Sport Service under a formal School / Community Management agreement, the centre is an integrated community facility. It is used predominately throughout the day by the neighbouring Grantown Grammar Secondary School, while being readily available for public use early mornings, evenings and weekends.

Public opening times of the sports hall and gym are: Monday to Friday 7:30am ~ 8:30am and 5pm ~ 10pm; and on Saturday and Sunday from 10am ~ 4pm. The swimming pool public opening hours are Monday and Wednesday 7pm ~ 9pm; Tuesday and Thursday 7.30am ~ 8.30am; Friday 7pm ~ 9pm fun session and Saturday and Sunday 10am ~ 4pm.

The Highland Council's High Life membership scheme membership is available at the Craig MacLean Leisure Centre. Swimming lessons; a variety of aerobic classes: hi/lo aero, yoga, turbokick, boxercise, circuits; childrens' birthday parties and young persons activity programmes throughout school holidays are all provided at the centre.

For further information on activities at the Craig MacLean Leisure Centre contact tel: 01479 870281

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme