Family link kept up as donor’s descendant opens Jed pool café

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A DESCENDANT of the man who gave Jedburgh’s swimming pool to the town, Bill Laidlaw, opened the facility’s new £210,000 cafe, meeting area and refurbished fitness suite on 
Saturday.

The late ex-provost James Laidlaw donated the baths in 1923 and 70 years later townspeople took back the running of the Laidlaw Memorial Pool and Fitness Centre, and on Saturday around 100 people witnessed the opening of Jedburgh Leisure Facilities Trust’s most ambitious project so far.

Trustee Christine Wylie said: “Jedburgh must now have one of the best if not the best leisure centre in the Borders, one that is well used and appreciated by the public and one that has had a lot of praise.”

From the initial idea to the opening took two years, with the work done by local firm JMS Harkin.

The money came from the EU LEADER programme (£170,730), Scottish Borders Council (£24,000) and trust funds

Numbers using the pool have more than doubled since the trust took over. Improvements already made include installing a biomass boiler and renewing the pool filtration system.

In the future, trustees hope to put in a better ventilation system, refurbish the changing area and build a small training pool.

And they are currently negotiating taking over the running of the town hall.