Since the 1860s Nairn has had a rich history as one of Scotland’s most idyllic holiday and seaside towns. In 1873, the visionary local Doctor, John Grigor (1814-1886), opened his project, the Nairn Swimming Pool, created by carving out an old stone quarry, filling it with saltwater, pumped fresh from the sea, and covered by a fully glazed roof. Nairn’s location on the Moray Firth also boasts a fantastic selection of alternative attractions for families and ‘Experience Seekers’. These include three international golf courses, a choice of whisky trails, the Cairngorm National Park and a diverse selection of coastal and countryside walks that remain stunning all year round.

Nairn is an inviting place to live, work and where others holiday: a leisure location for tourists and locals alike. The NCSL facility will add to this vibrant history, expanding on Nairn’s already lucrative reputation as Scotland’s go-to coastal holiday destination: ‘Scotland’s Highland Playground’.

The NCSL project will not only provide a positive financial contribution to Nairn’s various community groups, it will also nurture the town’s historic and cultural roots and its wider economy. In an evaluation exercise, funded by HIE, the NCSL project the employment was appraised by Upper Quartile Consultants to support 57 direct full-time equivalent (fte) jobs. Indirect employment in related supply chains and other spin-offs for local tourism and its related sectors will clearly add significantly to this forecast.

NCSL will also deliver other gains through increased health and wellbeing advantages for those using the facility. These include, but are not limited to, a focus upon access to more active lifestyles, a considerable extension of Nairn’s quality of life experience, a broader engagement within the community and the integration of healthy living with leisure for pleasure. Younger age groups will be encouraged to take part in exercise and wellbeing via the facility, as will the community’s older population. The NCSL will position Nairn as a water-sports centre of excellence, where sustainability and the wellbeing of its residents are at the forefront of its community led decision making.

Whilst not restricted to those in formal clubs it is clear that the facility will enhance their opportunities. NCSL are delighted to have the support of Nairn Synchronised Swimming Club, Scottish National solo, duet and team gold medallists. As the only such club in the north of Scotland, the sporting prowess of Nairn’s synchro-swimmers will likely increase through their new opportunity to train and perform in a dedicated synchro-swimming pool. In addition discussions are also taking place with the Nairn Hydrotherapy Trust about the future provision of a state-of-the-art hydro healthcare and recuperation facility for the town. (

The saunas will extend existing facilities and provide an important rest and relaxation space. The new lido is designed to enable open access to the Moray Firth at designated tidal times to extend and enhance the wild-water swimming experience. Intended to be the capstone feature of the Nairn Spa and Lido, the horizon/ infinity pool will enable bathers to luxuriate in 36°C water whilst overlooking the sea, the Cromarty Sutors of the Black Isle and the Highlands beyond at any time of the year and in all weather conditions.

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