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LEADER weighs in with funding for ‘gym with a view’ for the Kyle of Sutherland

Published: Friday, 24 March 2017

Kyle of Sutherland Hub Ltd is to benefit from EU funding from the Highland LEADER Programme.

The Sutherland Local Area Partnership has approved funding of £25,810 towards the costs of equipment for a fitness suite at the new Youth and Family Hub in Bonar Bridge.  The Hub, which is currently under construction, will include facilities such as the fitness suite, a soft play area, café, as well as a number of community rooms including space for youth group activities.

Hayley Bangs, Chair of Kyle of Sutherland Hub Ltd said:  “The grant from LEADER will enable us to provide a fitness suite facility which is the first of its kind in the area.  It will be a great addition along with the other facilities planned for the Hub which will ensure everyone in the community can benefit from our project.

“Our aim will be to encourage as many people to use the new fitness suite and our trained staff will be on hand to offer tailored training programmes to suit the needs of individuals.  There will be a targeted programme to encourage young people, women and people over 60 to use the gym and we will work closely with local health groups such as GPs, Physiotherapists and the Bradbury Centre to develop rehabilitation programmes.    

“The Hub is scheduled to open late summer 2017 and we are really excited to showcase the fitness suite in particular.  The fitness suite will have fantastic panoramic views overlooking the Kyle towards Invershin with Carbisdale Castle in the distance.  We are confident that our fitness suite will be “Scotland’s most scenic gym” and the view alone should help encourage people to come for a work-out.”

The Sutherland Local Area Partnership is responsible for delivering the LEADER Programme in the area and has a budget of £633,673 to award to projects by March 2019.  The Fitness Suite project is the first approval made by the group.

The Sutherland Local Area Partnership is jointly chaired by Frances Gunn and Anne Sutherland.  Frances Gunn said:  “LEADER aims to promote economic and community development within rural areas.  The fitness suite project focuses on health and well-being with improved access to services and facilities in the area.  The fitness suite is vital to the whole Community Hub project and is a key element in its overall sustainability by way of generating income.”

Anne Sutherland said: “We are delighted to help fund the fitness suite which supports rural development in the area.  LEADER is a great source of match-funding to enable projects such as this to be delivered in our rural communities.  We would encourage other community groups to get in touch with the LEADER team as grants of between £5,000 and £50,000 are available for eligible projects.”

For further information please contact Paula Betts, the LEADER Development Officer for Caithness & Sutherland on 01463 702275 or by emailing