The New Year could usher in a fitter Nairnshire if the area’s main sports centre receives councillors’ blessing for an extension and major upgrade.
The club has submitted a formal planning application for upgrading the popular community facility in the town’s Viewfield Drive.
Various internal alterations are proposed to enhance the current changing facilities and provide a more efficient layout.
An equipment store is also envisaged for the 1970s-founded club which now boasts a membership close to 1,000, and whose facilities are also open to non members.
This proposal seeks to continue the club’s growth by augmenting what it considers to be a modest extension.
The principal aim is to add 970sq ft (90 sqm) of new gym space to the club. This would allow existing gym equipment to be spread out in a safer and more suitable manner, and allow greater space for cardiovascular and weight-lifting activities.
A previous application to extend the club was granted in 2013.
The club had previously been unsuccessful in attracting the level of funding that would have been required to realise that proposal.
But it has subsequently come up with an alternative strategy on a more modest budget.
In the wake of pre-application discussion with council planning officials, an additional three parking spaces will be provided as part of the proposals.
The club does not expect a dramatic increase in members as a result of the proposals, hence the parking demands remain almost the same.
However, fitting in with its ambitions for improving the community’s general health and fitness, the club aims to provide additional bike parking facilities for club users.
It has also acknowledged the club is in the town centre and there is ample parking provided within five minutes’ walk of the venue.
The club is located a few minutes’ walk from the town’s bus station and within 10 minutes of the rail station.
The application states: “As this is a sports club, members are encouraged to walk, run or cycle to the club as opposed to taking their cars.
“We would submit that, due to the modest nature of this proposal, providing an extra three spaces will be adequate when the location of the club is taken into consideration.”