Christopher Ross, Anne Arthur, David Hewet, Fiona Nolan, Councillor Morris and Councillor Menzies.
In Spring 1996 a public meeting was held in Cumnock
Town Hall to propose the building of an indoor swimming
pool. At the end of the meeting, several people
who were prepared to work to try to achieve this
objective stood up to be counted. This led to the
following Committee being formed.
immediately started seven years of fund raising,
holding home baking stalls, raffles, book &
bric-a-brac stalls, duck races, dances, Xmas parties,
donkey derby, concerts, sportsman’s dinners,
fashion shows, sponsored swim, tea bingos, bag packing,
Xmas fair, discos and balloon races etc.
After interviewing several consultants, we selected
highly recommended GAIA Planning of Edinburgh to
prepare a Feasibility Study as we knew that this
would be required by our major funders. We held
meetings, led by GAIA, throughout our fundraising
time asking the public for suggestions, ideas and
what they would want and would like and arranged
for this ‘wish list’ to be included
in the Feasibility Study. Meetings were held in
Cumnock Town Hall, B.B. Hall, Caponacre College
and committee members’ homes.
At the suggestion of our Consultants, the Pool Project
- which was an Association - became Cumnock &
District Leisure Group, a Company Limited by Guarantee
and with Charitable Status. Retired Banker, Donald
Howe, previously our Honorary Auditor, joined the
Board and became Treasurer to strengthen the financial
side and prepare funding applications – a
move again welcomed by the funders.
realised that we would need to demonstrate tangible
Public Support and sent letters to every house in
the area asking for support and offering Membership
of our new Company at £1 per member. The members
elect the Directors and proposed funders like the
Public to have a say in how the Company is run.
Over 800 replied and paid membership and these members
are still entitled to attend Annual General Meetings
and elect Directors. Also, technically the Members
actually own the Leisure Centre although they can
never sell it.
We continually emphasised that it would be Cumnock
& District swimming pool & leisure centre,
for the benefit of all villages and schools in the
area as well as Cumnock.
Our consultants looked at various site options and
took opinions from the Public at Meetings and it
became apparent that the only site which we would
not have to pay for and which was suitable in every
other way was at Broomfield. In particular we needed
to have a visible, well-lit site near to the road
and convenient for public transport and within walking
distance for local schools. This green field site
was owned by East Ayrshire Council and was given
to us as we required ownership to retain our Charitable
Cumnock and District Leisure Group (in reality the
800 people who paid their £1 Membership and
who elect the Directors) own and are responsible
for running the facility. Our Board have decided
that The Galleon Trust, who already run the successful
Galleon Centre in Kilmarnock, will run the centre
for us on a day to day basis. Again, the funders
liked this and our Board will carefully monitor
the ‘Galleon’s’ performance.
While we were fundraising to produce a figure sufficient
to show funders we meant business, the National
Lottery changed their rules and we were faced with
having to accept that the maximum amount we could
expect from them had reduced substantially. We set
about desperately trying to raise our target funding.
We failed to reach our original target and decided
to ‘cut our cloth’ and asked our Architect
to redesign the Building retaining as many of the
original features as he could from the original
'wish list'. After much hard work and many meetings,
we were successful in raising enough to build a
smaller facility and this is what you see at present.
Funding came from East Ayrshire Council, The Minerals
Trust, Sportscotland (The National Lottery), SCORE
Environment Ltd., the Gannochy Trust, Tom Hunter,
Hugh Fraser Foundation, Social Inclusion Partnership,
Coalfields Regeneration Trust, and last but certainly
not least from local Businesses, churches, local
people and children.
After interviewing several Surveyor Firms, assisted
by Enterprise Ayrshire, we selected Armour Construction
Consultants of Kilmarnock to look after our interests
in the building of the facility. On our behalf,
Armour sent out numerous invitations to builders
to tender for the building work. In meticulously
fair competition, Barr Construction’s Tender
was selected being substantially less than the others
and because they have vast experience building swimming
pools and leisure centres, all over Britain.
To everyone who helped in any way we extend our
Without your tremendous support we would never have
accomplished our dream. Although we fully acknowledge
East Ayrshire Council’s help with the project
from day one and ongoing, this Leisure Centre doesn’t
belong to the Council. It really does belong to
Building started on Monday November 3rd 2003 at
a cost of £ 2,250,000 and the facility was
opened on Saturday 9th October 2004 by the Members
of the Board pulling cords on a curtain to display
a brass plate. This was quickly followed by two
Swimmers from the Cumnock Dolphins and two Swimmers
from The Cumnock Neptunes diving into the pool and
After eight years hard work, on
that day OUR DREAM BECAME A REALITY for the benefit
of the whole area.
In February 2008 Cumnock and District Leisure Group completed the funding package to allow the extension to the facility begin.
The work is scheduled for 22 weeks and should be handed over to the centre management for opening in September 2008.
The extension will allow Aerobics classes and Teen Zone classes to move out of the Gym space into a state of the art area purpose built for classes. This will also allow the Gym to almost double in size. As part of the developement the Spa area will be renovated with most of the work being done to the floor tiles.
Below is a picture of the work done on the extension so far.
Picture taken on 22nd May 2008
Completed look of the new extension.
Below are a few pictures of the inside of the new facility, Spray Tan machine and gym equipment.