Grant funding helps local projects progress in Kilmarnock

A climbing and bouldering centre in Kilmarnock and a new changing pavilion for Kilmarnock Rugby Club are set to become a reality following grant funding being approved for the projects by East Ayrshire Council’s Grants Committee.

Up to £305,000 has been awarded to ‘Above Adventure’ to support the creation of a Climbing and Bouldering Centre in the former Grange Church in Woodstock Street. Above Adventure is a charity which was set up in 2013 to encourage young people, including those with a disability, to choose to be active.

The new centre will provide a range of facilities including boulder, climbing and abseiling walls, changing facilities and a café. Children, adults, school groups, youth groups and other organisations will be able to use the centre which will also be available for parties, holiday activities and competitions.

The centre will provide qualified instructor-led taster sessions for all ages and levels of experience. The charity will continue to provide outreach work and children and young people who are disadvantaged by disability or circumstance will be encouraged to attend the centre.

Over at Bellsland rugby park on Queen’s Drive, Kilmarnock Rugby Club has received £250,000 to help with the cost of creating a new changing pavilion. Although some work has already been carried out including upgrading shower facilities and installing a new boiler, there is now a need for additional facilities, especially for the younger and female members. With the growth in both youth and female participation in rugby, the communal style changing rooms are no longer ideal as they do not allow privacy to users and do not meet Sportscotland standards for junior members.

The new changing pavilion will contain four changing rooms each with a changing area, showers and toilets suitable for 20 participants. This will mean there are sufficient changing facilities to support both senior and junior home matches played every Saturday and Sunday.

Councillor Iain Linton, Chair of the Grants Committee, said: “This grant funding, which comes from Whitelee Windfarm income, is great news for these two projects in Kilmarnock. It will make a real difference in helping them to progress with their objectives of promoting social, sporting and recreational activities in East Ayrshire.

“With climbing becoming an Olympic sport at the 2020 Olympics, demand for climbing and bouldering activities will rise significantly so this is the perfect time to create a facility like this. It’s also very important that the rugby club has appropriate changing facilities now that membership of young people and females is increasing, which is great to see.

“I look forward to seeing progress being made on these two projects which will be fantastic for the Kilmarnock area.”

Other grants have been awarded to local projects including East Ayrshire Car Club in Muirkirk, New Cumnock Community Council (for option appraisal for a community sports hub), Kilmarnock Amateur Weightlifting Club and the extension of the community garden at Kilmarnock YMCA.