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Highland Council and hotel group at loggerheads over Aviemore pool access

By Gavin Musgrove

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Macdonald Hotels and Highland Council are on course to clash again over access to the Aviemore resort’s pool, with local users being caught in the crossfire once more.

A makeshift one-year deal allowing access for High Life Highland members is due to expire this Saturday with no new deal yet in place despite the many months of countdown to the deadline.

The Macdonald Aviemore Resort swimming pool
The Macdonald Aviemore Resort swimming pool

The Strathy understands that Macdonald Hotels will extend the arrangement in the short term and is ‘very anxious for the council to come back to the table’.

In turn the local authority said that discussions were continuing but there was a “complexity regarding another matter” – they would not specify but it is believed not to be connected to the funding package – that is holding up progress.

The pool was out of bounds for three months from August last year for HLH members because of an impasse in discussions over funding arrangements.

Joe Kirby, who orchestrated the high profile campaign Save Our Swimming 2018, has urged the two parties to resolve the outstanding issues for the benefit of the community.

Highland Council paid the hotel group £205,000 for the access to the pool as part of the HLH leisure scheme over the past 12 months.

More on this story in the latest Strathy now on sale.

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