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Portal officially opened in fantastic ceremony

Posted on 14 Jul 2017
Portal opening2

LOCAL sports stars helped officially open the Portal – Irvine’s new Leisure, Cultural and Community Centre – at a special celebration event on Friday.

Record breaking swimmers Danielle Joyce and Abby Kane were joined by Derek Grieve, the Scottish Government’s Head of Active Scotland Division to carry out the official duties on Friday.

They were joined on a tour of the town-centre facility by the American Consul General Susan Wilson, who was in North Ayrshire meeting with Council officers and elected members to learn more about the economic and investment opportunities in the area

Provost Ian Clarkson, Councillor Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, representatives from KA Leisure and a range of other partners were also invited to the official opening.

They got a snapshot of what’s on offer at the Portal on a daily basis. During the tour, the party got to see a summer kids club and Fit Ayrshire Baby Club. These activities took place in the huge games hall, which also caters for a variety of sports including basketball, netball and table tennis.

The guests then witnessed a spin class in one of the studios before they entered an adjacent studio to watch some baby ballet.

They group then got to see some KA Leisure members work out in the new purpose-built gym. Packed with over 100 pieces of state-of-the-art kit, the gym has something for everyone.

Danielle Joyce, the current holder of multiple deaf world records in swimming and Abby Kane, who at just 13 won an incredible silver medal at last year’s  Paralympics, were both right at home during the tour of the swimming pool. They got to see a parent and toddlers group class in action in the smaller training pool.  With its training pool and large seated area, the pool is expected to host big swimming events  where the next North Ayrshire swimming sensation could be uncovered.

As well as the Portal, the visitors were taken to the adjoining Townhouse building. The building has been given a tasteful and subtle restoration and has already hosted a number of hugely successful wedding ceremonies.  It is expected to thrive as a venue for functions, artists in residence and as a home for exhibitions and performances.

The genealogy service is expected to be operational later this month which will provide in-depth local and family history.

Since opening to the public earlier this year, KA Leisure – who run the facility – have seen a massive spike in membership and have declared it an unqualified success.

Councillor Cullinane said: “The tour reflected that the facility is all about our community and catering for as many groups as possible.

“There is no doubt that the Portal has already been a huge success since it opened and we are confident that it will continue to grow in popularity for years to come.

“The Portal and Townhouse are fantastic facilities that really complement each other. We are lucky to have them on our doorsteps here in Irvine.”

Colin Glencorse - Business Manager (Leisure) said: “ The Portal is a fantastic modern facility for the people of North Ayrshire to participate in sport and physical activity opportunities. We look forward to welcoming everyone to this new state of the art venue.”

Derek Grieve added: “I’m delighted to attend the official opening of what is a fantastic facility, making it easier for everyone to be active. It was particularly good to see such a diverse range of activities on offer- everything from baby ballet, health referral groups to over 50’s exercise classes.

“I’m sure the Portal and Townhouse will be invaluable facilities and a great success for the community in Irvine and beyond.”