Construction work has begun on one of the most exciting new developments in the Scottish tourism sector.
Ashleigh Building of Prestwick started work for the new spa and leisure centre at Portavadie on Loch Fyne in June. Combined with a site energy centre and improvements to the site infrastructure, this confirms a further £10 million investment on the site.
The centre is due to be completed for next summer, and will create 17 full time new jobs plus secure a further 10 full time positions, which are currently seasonal across the business, as well as making a significant wider contribution to the local economy.
Portavadie’s general manager Iain Jurgensen said the development will reinforce the aspiration of the Bulloch family, Portavadie`s investors, as one of the top visitor destinations in the country.
“This state of the art new spa and leisure centre will be a major addition to our facilities and one we hope will prove very popular - not just with our existing customers including, of course, the local community, but also with the many thousands of potential new customers in Scotland and beyond,” he added.
“It is now seven years since we opened for business, and those years have been hugely rewarding for all of us.
“We believe our success lies in the fact that we have always been much more than simply a marina. Portavadie is unique in offering world class yacht berthing facilities alongside contemporary and diverse holiday accommodation, high quality dining, beauty and wellbeing, weddings and events spaces and fantastic shopping – all with the backdrop of one of the UK’s most spectacular locations.
With indoor and outdoor swimming pools, spa facilties, gym, studio, café, multi-purpose function spaces with marina views, the new building will also encapsulate Portavadie`s commitment to sustainable development by using local biomass energy as its primary power source."
The project is being supported by funding of £950,000 from local economic development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), enabling the development to proceed ahead of schedule.
Carol Jagielko, a director of owners Portavadie Estates and a member of the Bulloch family behind the investment said the family is thrilled to be able to announce this further enhancement to the facilities to broaden the appeal of visitors and guests alike.
David Smart, HIE’s Head of Regional Development, has been involved with Portavadie since 2009. He commented, “Portavadie is an excellent example of the positive impact the vision of an entrepreneurial family business such as Portavadie Estates can deliver. The development continues to be truly transformational for this part of Argyll. The new spa and leisure centre will build on the success to date, offering new jobs and local facilities while also attracting additional visitors to make return journeys. There are real opportunities for the management team to develop new markets, especially across the UK and Europe, which will make a significant impact on tourism in Argyll and the Islands.
The architects are Largs based Stewart Associates, who master-planned and developed the design of the development from inception in 2007.
Iain Jurgensen stressed that Portavadie would remain open for business throughout the construction period.
“It’s going to be very much business as usual for us over the next few months, with our guests experiencing the same levels of excellence they have come to expect whether they’re here to dine, to shop, to stay, to be pampered, to berth their boat or simply to relax and enjoy our wonderful setting,” he said.
“The location of the new spa and leisure centre will allow the build to proceed with the minimum of noise disruption and with no effect on the services we currently offer.
“We are gearing up for another very busy season, and very much look forward to welcoming plenty of new faces as well as old friends to Portavadie.
“This is a very exciting time for us. The promise of the new spa and leisure centre opening next year has given everyone associated with Portavadie extra incentive to continue to strive for excellence in every area of our operation.
“Our aim is to continue to set new standards in terms of the facilities we offer and the service we provide to the people enjoying them. The new spa and leisure centre promises to make a major contribution to our future success and help us ensure we continue to develop our vision to becoming a family leisure destination of choice in Scotland.”
David Smith Joint Managing Director of Ashleigh (Scotland) Ltd is looking forward to working on the project saying, “This is a tremendously exciting venture for Ashleigh to be involved in and we are very proud to be named as the main contractor by Portavadie. The directors and staff have really embraced the project and we are looking forward to working together with local suppliers to deliver this fantastic and unique facility. A number of our key personnel are relocating for the duration of the project and will be making Argyll their home over the coming months.”
Dr Mike Cantlay, Chairman of national tourism organisation VisitScotland, welcomed the news that construction of the new centre has begun, saying: “Portavadie is already a first-class attraction, offering an excellent visitor experience, the highest standards of facilities and service, and a wide range of things to do.
"I’m delighted to hear that significant investment is being made to further enhance the site by creating a spa and leisure centre and create new jobs; this is an important development for the local economy and for the tourism industry in Argyll”, he added.
For more information on Portavadie, please visit its website at www.portavadiemarina.com
For more information on Stewart Associates, please visit the company’s website at www.stewart-associates.com