Slainte Mhath scheme extended to four regions

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar this week announced a new leisure link partnership with four other areas of Scotland that will see ‘Slàinte Mhath’ members able to access leisure facilities out with the Western Isles for the first time.

The scheme, involving the four other areas will be known as the “Leisure Link Partnership”.

Believed to be the first of its type in Scotland, ‘Slàinte Mhath’ members will now be able to access gym, public swimming and fitness classes at leisure facilities across Highland, Moray, Orkney and Argyll and Bute at no extra cost.

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Many of the individual Leisure Link Partnership sites will also offer access to other public sessions where cardholders can take part in many other activities such as running and indoor climbing.

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.

Chair of Community Leisure UK and High Life Highland Chief Executive Ian Murray said: “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, Orkney, Argyll and Bute and the Western Isles.

“We are always looking for ways to widen the services offered to highlife members and the Leisure Link Partnership is a major step forward enabling flexibility to use their cards at one of the partnership sites, and most importantly…at no extra cost.

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“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 highlife model across their own culture and leisure services. So we are hopeful that the Leisure Link Partnership may soon be available not only in the Highlands and Islands but also further afield!”

Mr Murray concluded: “Along with the other participating areas, I am delighted to see the Leisure Link Partnership launched and look forward to seeing the scheme develop and grow as other areas see the benefits for their members and look to come on board.”

Cllr 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.

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“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.

“Visiting cardholders are advised to check out the “Leisure Link Partnership” section in their local centre’s website to establish full access details.”