THE ILEACH :: THE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER FOR ISLAY + JURA

Excerpts from issue 45/13 14 April 2018

stuart laing, ardnahoe

Stewart Laing inside one of the new Ardnahoe washbacks, as Islay's ninth distillery nears completion.

Photo:islay studios

One step at a time

Islay's award winning Mactaggart Leisure Centre comprises a 25 metre swimming pool, sauna, gym, launderette, hair salon, multi-purpose activity room and also houses the Credit Union. The centre is run by Islay & Jura Community Enterprises, a social enterprise company with charitable status owned and run by the people of Islay & Jura. Over the past 26 years, the business has provided employment for over 148 local people, trained 134 lifeguards & secured over £2.5m revenue funding from grants, trusts & foundations to provide activities/services needed by the local community.
Waste heat from adjacent Bowmore distillery provides 'free energy' to help heat the swim pool water, air and showers.
More recently, due to heavy footfall and use over the years, £500,000 has been claimed from Europe to undertake capital upgrading of the building, by mostly local contractors, to a high standard once again.
This anchor facility provides vital services and activities which benefit all sectors of the community. Pre-school crèche, learn to swim/life guarding tuition, vocational training/work experience for young people, Aquacare warm water therapy for disabled, Chit Chat support hub for people with long term conditions, lunch/social club for older people, aquatic club and school education use, are good examples. For visitors/tourists the centre is the most used facility on Islay and an integral part of the tourist industry.
Being a stand-alone charity, operating a high energy use business, complying with health and safety staffing levels, in a remote and rural location, balancing the books has never been easy. We are constantly dealing with new challenges and the sustainability of the Mactaggart Leisure Centre for future generations to benefit from is paramount. Our external, metal emergency evacuation staircase is in need of refurbishment to ensure that it is safe to use and the building can remain open. The total cost of the works is £7,700. There are 28 steps, equating to £275 per step.
We are aware this project is not particularly exciting, but is nevertheless of high priority, as the building is reliant on raising these funds to remain open and continue trading.
This type of project is not easy to fund by way of grants and therefore we must adopt a different approach. To date we have sold two steps, raising £550. Don't delay, do it today and feel good about doing your bit to help sustain a local award winning community business!
Donald Jackson (IJCE Convenor)

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Machrie's new manager
anne schaeflin, machrie hotel

Anne Schaeflein has been appointed General Manager of The Machrie Hotel and Golf Links, working for the hotel operator Campbell Gray Hotels.
Anne brings a wealth of experience in general management roles and has gained strong operational skills over the course of her career, working for several top hotels within the UK and overseas.
Having moved to Scotland from her native Germany in 2002, she continued her career at Gleneagles Hotel & Resort, taking on various roles before moving to The Kinnaird Estate in Dunkeld, to become General Manager.
She moved to England for a time, joining Asia-based hotel group, Swire Hotels, as the General Manager of The Montpellier Chapter, Cheltenham. Moving back to Scotland, she took up the role of General Manager at the Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Golf, near Oban.
Prior to her new position at The Machrie, she decided to take a few years away from the hotel industry to launch Corbie & Cheip, an award-winning delicatessen & wine bar in Auchterarder.
It was her love of locally sourced produce and commitment to supporting and promoting local communities, coupled with her industry and managerial expertise, that found her suited to her new role at The Machrie.
"We are delighted to welcome Anne Schaeflein as General Manager. She is the right person to oversee the launch and running of this superb new hotel and links course on Islay.
"Her wealth of industry experience, love of Scotland and commitment to sustainability and local community initiatives will certainly make her a great asset to the team,"
said Gordon Campbell Gray, Founder of Campbell Gray Hotels.
The Ileach will catch up for a chat with Anne in a forthcoming issue.

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Bowmore distillery community open day
matthew campball

Bowmore Distillery and the Mactaggart Leisure Centre joined forces on Saturday 31 March to celebrate the arrival of spring. The atmosphere in the Visitor Centre was lively and merry and they would like to say thank you to everyone involved in making the Community Open Day a success.
Excellent musical accompaniment to a Grand Day Out, was provided by Ciara, Shane and Simon, keeping everyone's toes-a-tapping all afternoon. Food for thought was never far away and the distillery expressed themselves as 'blown away' by the amount of delicious home-baking kindly donated. Karen tirelessly kept the tea and coffee flowing all day and an amazing £800 was raised for the Mactaggart Leisure Centre through generous donations.
The 'Islay Legends' photographic competition, judged by Mark Unsworth of Islay Studios, produced Les Mitchell Hynd as winner in the adult section while Port Ellen's Matthew Campbell was successful winner of the junior section (see his winning entry of Ardnave above).
Mark told the Ileach "With so many excellent entries, choosing a winner in each section was not the easiest of tasks, but I believe both Les and Matthew were worthy victors."
Bowmore are hoping for a great turn out again next time.

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NEXT ISSUE ON SALE 28 April 2018

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islay info

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islay community council

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Islay Diary 2018

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  • Sunday 15 April
  • RNLI Afternoon Tea Dance, Islay House
  • Tuesday 17 April
  • Timebank Stroll, Claggan Strip, Bridgend
  • Wednesday 18 April
  • T in the Church, Portnahaven Church
  • Baptist Church Walk
  • Thursday 19 April
  • Badminton, IHS
  • BBC Alba preview, ICCI
  • Friday 20 April
  • Illustrated Talk, Bowmore Baptist Church
  • Saturday 21 April
  • Kilmeny Church Spring Sale, Ballygrant Hall
  • Wheelbarrow Band, Portnahaven Church
  • Sunday 22 April
  • Islay Motor Club, Drive-it day
  • RSPB Loch Gruinart Open Day
  • Wheelbarrow Band, Ballygrant Inn
  • Tuesday 24 April
  • ICAG AGM, Service Point, Bowmore
  • Timebank Stroll, Moss Road, Bowmore
  • Wednesday 25 April
  • T in the Church, Portnahaven Church
  • Wheelbarrow Band, Port Charlotte Hotel
  • Thursday 26 April
  • Badminton, IHS
  • Friday 27 April
  • Quiz Night, Bowmore Hotel
  • Bowmore Harbour AGM, Service Point, Bowmore
  • Wednesday 2 May
  • T in the Church, Portnahaven Church
  • Thursday 3 May
  • Badminton, IHS
  • The Coal Porters, Bowmore Hall
  • Wednesday 9 May
  • T in the Church, Portnahaven Church
  • Thursday 10 May
  • Badminton, IHS
  • Wednesday 16 May
  • T in the Church, Portnahaven Church
  • Thursday 17 May
  • Badminton, IHS
  • Tuesday 22 May
  • Kilmeny Ceilidh, Ballygrant Hall
  • Wednesday 23 May
  • T in the Church, Portnahaven Church
  • Thursday 24 May
  • Badminton, IHS
  • Saturday 26 May - 2 June
  • Fèis Ile/Islay Whisky Festival
  • Wednesday 30 May
  • T in the Church, Portnahaven Church
  • Thursday 31 May
  • Badminton, IHS
  • Tuesday 19 June
  • Kilmeny Ceilidh, Ballygrant Hall
  • Tuesday 24 July
  • Kilmeny Ceilidh, Ballygrant Hall
  • Saturday 28 July
  • Bowmore Sports
  • Sunday 5 August
  • Ride of the Falling Rain
  • Tuesday 14 August
  • Kilmeny Ceilidh, Ballygrant Hall
  • Tuesday 11 September
  • Kilmeny Ceilidh, Ballygrant Hall

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