Highlands & Islands

Ullapool community pool roof damage worse than expected

Swimming pool generic
Image caption Schools and a swim club use Ullapool's pool

Damage to the roof of a community swimming pool has been found to be far worse than previously thought.

An appeal to raise more than £100,000 to repair the building in Ullapool is now expected to fall short of the new estimated cost of £200,000-£345,000.

A public meeting will be held in the town on 16 August to discuss the new-found problems.

Experts asked by Highland Council to examine the roof suggest protection against damp was not adequate.

They said the entire roof would have to be replaced.

The pool opened in 1994 to serve a wide area of the north-west Highlands including Dundonnell and Kinlochbervie.

It took 15 years of fundraising to generate the £140,000 the town needed to raise towards the cost of the building.

Schools and a swimming club have used the pool regularly.

Swim club teacher Andy Grant said it was important youngsters were able to learn to swim.

He said: "For where we live it's an essential facility - not just in Ullapool but across the whole region.

"People travel long distances for Saturday morning lessons, they stay in the pool for hours and just love it."

Mr Grant added: "We're surrounded by water here. A lot of the kids have interests related to the sea and they fish off rock and piers.

"Here, swimming is as important as knowing how to cross the road."

Sauna damage

The site is run by a partnership, which includes Highland Council.

Engineers and architects were among experts asked to assess the condition of the roof.

Their report suggests moisture from the pool and sauna has caused damage from the inside and rain from the outside.

They also claim not enough humidity monitoring equipment was fitted and the monitors that were installed were in the wrong places.

The building in Ullapool has been closed for most of this year.

The committee running the pool had hoped to have it open again by January next year.

A campaign, dubbed Raise the Roof, has sought wider support to the fundraising appeal with a page on a social networking website.

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