New leisure centre and spa planned for Portavadie

Plans have been announced for a state-of-the-art spa and leisure facility at Portavadie Marina on the shores of Loch Fyne.

The marina’s owners, the Bulloch family, said in an announcement on Wednesday that they hoped to open the new facility - which will include outdoor and indoor swimming pools, spa facilities, a gym, a studio, a café and a soft play area - towards the end of 2014.

The new leisure centre will mark a new chapter in the remarkable story of Portavadie, which had lain virtually abandoned for years after plans to build concrete oil platforms on the site in the 1970s collapsed.

The site is now home to an increasingly popular tourist destination offering holiday accommodation, restaurants, bars and shopping - as well as being the departure point for the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry service to Tarbert, used by many Bute residents as a short-cut on journeys to Kintyre and mid Argyll.

Iain Jurgensen, Portavadie Marina’s general manager, said: “It is our intention to further enhance the inclusive facilities for families and leisure visitors to fully experience the very best of Scottish hospitality and further develop Portavadie’s reputation as an all year round destination of choice on the west coast.

“We’re in a stunning Highland location where visitors come to enjoy outdoor activities, typically walking, cycling and sailing. The leisure centre will provide additional indoor options.”

The architect in charge of the project is Brian Stewart of Stewart Associates in Largs, who, as well as being in charge of the masterplan for the marina development, has also been closely involved in many major building projects on Bute in recent years.

“We are delighted to continue our involvement with Portavadie Marina,” Mr Stewart said.

“This important building will provide the initial impression of the development from the seaward approach and will be designed to take advantage of the magnificent views to Loch Fyne and beyond.”