The Kintyre Seasports Project
In 2016 a community study showed major potential to develop watersports, create life chances and attract tourism to Kintyre, an area with outstanding natural resources and pockets of deprivation.
The Kintyre Seasports SCIO (“KSS”) was formed in 2017 to realise that potential. We connect education providers, community groups and watersports clubs to break barriers and provide health, well-being and economic benefits for all. The SCIO – Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation -structure fosters inclusion of, and governance by, corporate members. In our case four watersports clubs and six community groups have linked to form a single organisation with real purpose.
It works. In a short time we have broken a lot of ground:
In 2018 60 local volunteers organised our first Community Regatta. The 2019 event attracted over 400 people, with 40% visitors and 200 “wetsuit” participants.
Local participation in sailing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and diving doubled from 2017 through 2020, and is on the rise.
18 local volunteer coaches, all qualified by the relevant national sports governing bodies, are supporting safe and sustainable growth. We expect a further 7 coaches to qualify in 2022.
We instigated two Changing Lives partnership programmes, Try Dive and Sailing Instructor training, to improve the education and employability of disadvantaged young people.
We are working with Campbeltown Grammar School and Argyll College to build on these programmes and facilitate maritime vocational training in Campbeltown.
This exceptional track record was achieved by unpaid volunteers using outdated and inadequate facilities. With the right resources we can do a lot more.
In 2022 we are employing a full-time manager/chief instructor to accelerate progress and develop new initiatives. We are already working with Campbeltown Sailing Club to qualify KSS as an RYA Registered Training Centre, to generate income and strengthen the funding case for the 21st century facilities that can establish Campbeltown as an internationally recognised marine tourism destination.
In December 2021 we will submit a conceptual design for planning permission. It can accommodate 500 active watersports members (200 from outside Kintyre), act as a community hub and, according to British Marine Scotland, attract 700 additional visitors per annum. It will also allow us to scale up Changing Lives programmes, well beyond our current capacity of 50 young people per annum. Fulfilment will deliver generational social and economic benefits.
Our appreciation is due to our volunteers, funders, Argyll and Bute Council, Campbeltown Sailing Club, Dalintober Beach Group, all of our partners, RYA Scotland, John Renshaw Architects and Blue Sea Consulting for getting to this point. If you think you can help in any way do not hesitate to get in touch.
Campbell Fox, Chair
Our vision & Mission
Grow a sustainable community enterprise to generate life chances, promote health and well-being and attract adventure tourism to South Kintyre.
Develop marine sports to provide enjoyment and participation opportunities for all in a safe environment.
Give local young people vocational opportunities by training them as instructors to international standards.
Fund, build and operate a new community facility on the shores of Campbeltown Loch.
Attract visitors and events to maximise income and enhance tourism.
Sustain financial viability through best-practice management discipline.