Volunteer Board Of Directors
Chairperson Kaye Hannah
Vice Chair Celia Anderson
Treasurer Russell Cowan
Secretary Jean Jagodowski
Legal Advisor Andrew McVean
Committee Christopher Ross, Anne Arther,
Fiona Nolan, David Yates
In the Spring of 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 above committee being formed.
We immediately started seven years of fund raising, home baking stalls, raffles, book & bric-a-brac stalls, duck races, dances, Xmas parties, donkey derby's, concerts, sportsman’s dinners, fashion shows, sponsored swim, tea bingos, bag packing, Xmas fair, discos and balloon races etc.
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
We 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 people 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 status.
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 heartfelt thanks.
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 the people.
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 swimming.
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.