Following the continued success of The Great Steward of Scotland’s Dumfries House Trust carrying out a number of projects within the estate it became apparent that the trust should look further into the local communities to see if it could assist with community projects. A group of local villagers from New Cumnock approached the trust to assist in saving their town hall, a building constructed in 1888 which was due to be demolished. New Cumnock was a village with a population decline with most local community amenities being closed. The library and gym were closed with the community centre and outdoor pool about to be closed and demolished. With these closure community groups were being forced to close or move to nearby towns to host their clubs and groups. The Trust identified that if the historical town hall building could be saved and restored it could become the new community centre that the village required. The trust took ownership of the town hall in 2015 and work commenced on the restoration of the building.
Whilst work was underway at the town hall the trust was approached by Afton Water Leisure Group, a local community group set up to run the pool on a voluntary basis after it was closed in 2006. In 2016 the pool was under threat from demolition and the group asked if we could assist to try and save it as it was an important asset to the village bring visitors to the village during the summer season as it is the only fresh water outdoor pool in Scotland. Following discussions, the trust took ownership of the pool and started work on the restoration of the pool. Whilst the work was ongoing the local authority agreed to create a new car park area for the new amenities. The trust run and operate both facilities for the community. The former town hall is now a multi-purpose community centre offering a variety of rooms. These include a computer suite with 14 computers available to use, a main hall which serves as a mufti propose space that is used for anything from carpet bowling to hosting events with seating for up to 120 people. Additionally, we have another two multi-purpose rooms with full av facilities and arts and crafts equipment. We have around 40 groups using the centre as well as hosting other events such as seminars for the village and training courses. The pool operates from March to November offering a variety of swimming courses, general swimming. The pool is also used as part of the delivery of the trusts health and wellbeing program.