Ward funding increase for North Coast Leisure Centre
At yesterday’s (Tuesday 10 Feb) Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee, members agreed to increase Ward Discretionary Funding from £6,000 to £11,004 to support the North Coast Leisure Centre in Bettyhill.
In order to reduce its on-going energy costs and to generate income the community owned swimming pool and leisure facility installed a new PV Solar Thermal Energy system in 2013 after securing a loan from the Energy Saving Trust. However, last year the system was found to have been installed incorrectly and was in a dangerous state on the centre’s roof.
The company who had carried out the work had gone into liquidation so in December last year Ward Members agreed a contribution of £6,000 from the Ward Discretionary Fund to go towards the £11,004 quote from a local company to reinstall the system and make it safe.
At yesterday’s meeting members were advised that despite extensive efforts the North Coast Leisure Centre have not been able to secure any other funding for reinstating the panels. The committee therefore agreed the further £5,004 necessary for the work to go ahead with a condition that this be repaid should the Leisure Centre receive compensation from Solar Power Scotland, who carried out the original work, or those acting on their behalf.
Chair of the Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee, Councillor Deirdre Mackay said: “Due to the real safety concerns and the future operation of this important facility, everyone at our meeting was supportive to this request from North Coast Leisure. They provide a very valuable service in what is a remote rural community and their wide range of activities brings many benefits to the community and visitors to the area.”
Local Councillor George Farlow added: “This is a good example of the Ward Discretionary fund bringing immediate benefit to a worthy community project. Everyone involved works very hard and provides an excellent service. Now this funding has been agreed work can start right away. I am sure once the work is completed and the system is operating correctly, it will make the Centre more sustainable and energy efficient and be a big help in reducing the on-going energy costs.”