Pool party time in Alva
THE OCHIL Leisure Centre has been officially handed over to Ochil Leisure Enterprises - now the task is to re-open the facility.
Last week (Tuesday 3) missives for the building were signed, and at 7pm last night the pool and complex in Alva were formally given to OLE.
Simon Kindlen, of OLE, said the importance was now on getting the centre up to standards.
He commented, "The management committee feel elated and focused on making OLC a sustainable enterprise at the heart of the community.
"The committee is relieved that we now have access to OLC and can get the leisure centre ready for the community with the help of the community."
The organisation - which is a registered charity - has been waiting for Clackmannanshire Council to hand over the building since it purchased the pool for £1 in November.
Now that this action has taken place, the additional £100,000 in council funding promised to the group has also been released.
Simon said, "OLE will maximise the money awarded by the council by using most of the money for match funding. Grant awarding authorities do not provide funds to cover the whole cost of a project. They ask a percentage of the cost to be matched by the organisation applying for the grant. The money will be used to leverage the amount awarded by grant authorities."
The building has been closed for a year and the main priority over the next few months is to give the building a "good clean".
The changing rooms will be replaced with state-of-the-art facilities for swimmers - using £10,000 obtained via the Awards for All lottery grant.
MP Gordon Banks congratulated OLE on receiving the funding, saying that he wished them success as they progress with the massive project in front of them.
He added, "OLE will be aware of the challenges ahead and I wish them every success for the future in refurbishing the Alva Pool facility. They will undoubtedly be buoyed by the level of community support that exists. Congratulations again."
Clackmannanshire and Dunblane MSP, Keith Brown, echoed the MP's congratulations and said, "The new changing facilities will help to create a better experience for people using these facilities and hopefully encourage people to become healthier through sport.
"I wish Ochil Leisure Enterprises every success and will continue to follow their progress with interest."
He has also made a donation of £150 to OLE himself.
Work on the exterior of the building is scheduled and Simon said, "As we now have access to the centre we can now carry out a more detailed survey of the interior.
"OLE have had limited access to the centre and have had contractors in to provide quotes for work that we know that needs to be done. After the survey has been completed we can then set out a priority of work to be carried out.
"OLE plans to hire a leisure centre manager to run the facility and make it a sustainable enterprise.
"The recruitment process is currently being developed and we will be advertising for the post in the next couple of weeks."
The organisation's vision is to have OLC "at the heart of the community" and anyone can volunteer to help get it off the ground.
An open day will be planned for the community to see the facility, which will confirmed further down the line.
OLE would like to thank community for their support and encouragement and Keith Brown for his donation.
This article appeared in Alloa & Hillfoots Advertiser 11 Jul 12
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