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North Coast Leisure Centre

With a local population of only 1600 and a catchment area the size of greater London,  North Coast Leisure Centre (NCLC) covers 800 square mile geography from its Highland outpost in Bettyhill. The Centre consists of a swimming pool, sauna and fitness suite and delivery of outreach classes across the region – but that’s hardly doing it justice. 
 
The community-owned Centre, established in 1996, aims “to improve the physical, mental and social health and well-being of the wider North coast community”. They seek to address this through its range of classes and opportunities for all the community. These include boxercise, zumba and Nordic Walking - all pretty strenuous activities - but they sit alongside more sedate armchair exercise classes, hydro therapy and swimming. 
 
The Centre is now an integral part of the local community, offering access to activities that 
build relationships, develop friendships and camaraderie and maintain physical and mental 
well-being. They see their future extending into schools, day centres and care – becoming a centre of excellence, providing vitality in its services and vital to the development of community. If you cannot come to them, they come to you, through their outreach and community sessions. Extensive training is undertaken with staff and partnerships developed across a wide range of services. 
 
The appointment of a Development Manager, supported by the Robertson Trust and Highland 
Leader, has enabled connections to be made with outside agencies. As a result, service delivery opportunities and thus additional income streams are being negotiated with the Social Work department and the local NHS partnership. 
 
Other newly developed income streams include a health focused snack bar. Investment in inflatable Zorbs has attracted private parties from across the area to hire the only pool where it is possible to “walk on water”. With an ever ageing population and youngsters regularly leaving the area to seek employment, North Coast may be bucking the trend with young staff members seeing the Centre as a real opportunity in an innovative workplace.
 
The Centre is adopting a “cradle to grave” approach to sport, exercise and healthy living and hopes to support the local community both within the facility and via outreach activities. It is a holistic example of community involvement and development, a genuine healthy hub serving the wide ranging needs of a rural community. 
 
For further info,contact 
 
Patrick Gray
North Coast Leisure Centre 
Munro Place
Bettyhill
By Thurso
Caithness
KW14 7SS
 

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Company Registration No. 278156. Scottish Charity No. SC 029210