A ground-breaking scheme has been launched allowing people across the Highlands, islands and Moray to use each other’s leisure facilities.
In a first of its kind for Scotland, leisure charities in Highland, Moray, Orkney, the Western Isles and Argyll and Bute have all signed up to the scheme which secures free access, as part of a Leisure Link card.
People who are members of High Life Highland, FitLife, Slàinte Mhath, ActiveLife and LiveArgyll will get reciprocal membership across the north giving them access to pools, climbing walls, gyms and many other facilities.
It is hoped the scheme can be developed even further, with discussions ongoing with schemes in Ireland and Wales.
Chairman of High Life Highland chief executive Ian Murray said: “The Leisure Link Partnership means that when working away from home or on holiday, members from participating areas can, at no extra cost, use the local facilities as part of their existing home based membership.
“I am delighted to see the Leisure Link Partnership come to fruition as we have been working on this project for some time with colleagues in Moray, the Western Isles, Orkney and Argyll and Bute.
“We are also pleased to have initiated what we understand to be the first ever multi-area reciprocal card scheme in Scotland.
“And although the initial participants in the partnership are across the north of Scotland, we are in ongoing discussions with other areas in Scotland as well as in both Northern Ireland and Wales which have also adopted the High Life model across their own culture and leisure services.”
Chairwoman of Moray Council’s children and young people’s services committee, Councillor Sonya Warren, said it’s an exciting addition to FitLife memberships.
“Moray residents will now be able to benefit from the use of dozens of leisure facilities outwith Moray at no extra cost.”
Councillor Angus McCormack, chairman of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s education, sport and children’s services committee, said: “The award winning ‘Slàinte Mhath’ scheme was launched in 2010 and is the cheapest scheme of its kind in Scotland.
“Members will now see a significant enhancement to their membership benefits. For example, a family swim session for two adults and two children would have cost £19.70 at the Aquadome in Inverness, so this is a very positive move.”