The Duke of Rothesay unveils a refurbished open-air pool


This week, The Prince of Wales, known as The Duke of Rothesay when in Scotland, opened a refurbished open-air pool in New Cumnock, East Ayrshire which was saved from demolition.

His Royal Highness meets Olympic swimmer Duncan Scott
His Royal Highness meets Olympic swimmer Duncan Scott

Built in 1966, the swimming pool was saved from demolition by the community-run group Afton Water Leisure and has undergone significant improvement work following funding from the Dumfries House Outreach Programme.

His Royal Highness said: "I could not be more thrilled to be here today to open the swimming pool.

"I was only too keen to try and do what I could to try and help secure its long-term future, and I would like to express our gratitude to Afton Water Leisure for keeping the original pool open against the odds. It's certainly looking decidedly splendid now.

"We pondered how best we could officially open the pool.

"Tartan swimming trunks and the unveiling of an underwater plaque on the bottom of the pool was one suggestion, but we disregarded the idea of me jumping in and thought it seemed more important to recognise the local people."

The Duke of Rothesay re-opens the pool
The Duke of Rothesay re-opens the pool

He was joined in unveiling the plaque by Georgette Fulton, who worked at the pool when it opened, starting as a cleaner and ending up as head lifeguard.

Her name is also on the plaque alongside that of The Prince.

Rio 2016 double silver-medallist Duncan Scott dived in as local schoolchildren jumped into the water to celebrate the re-opening.

Mr Scott, who lives in Stirling but grew up in the Kilmarnock area, hopes the pool will encourage people into the sport.

Supermodel Eva Herzigova was among the onlookers as a guest of the lead donors Bob and Tamar Manoukian while Viscount Linley and Sir Tom Hunter were also there.

The new-look pool, designed in a "lido" style, has been made more energy-efficient and given a significant facelift through a construction project which started in September 2016 and finished this month.