NEIGHBOURS of the revamped New Cumnock Swimming Pool were invited to a special celebration.

They joined staff to mark the first anniversary of the refurbished facility’s reopening which has caused more than a ripple of interest among locals as well as visitors from further afield.

The pool has helped turn New Cumnock into a tourist destination which, by attracting hundreds of visitors from outwith East Ayrshire, has also provided an economic boost for the region

Since reopening a year ago, the refurbished pool has provided a modern setting for school swimming lessons, public sessions, and special events such as the sold-out Swim Under The Stars.

Just two years ago, the swimming pool faced an uncertain future and was threatened with closure until being rescued by Dumfries House Trust, a charity founded by the Duke of Rothesay.

Fast forward to 2018 and local families enjoyed a screening of smash-hit musical The Greatest Showman at New Cumnock Town Hall.

And, afterwards, there was an atmospheric late-night swim from 10pm until midnight at the complex.

Mary Clapperton, duty officer at the pool, said: “A fabulous evening was had by around 80 people who attended our first birthday midnight swim.

This consisted of the movie screening followed by a midnight aqua-dance with birthday cake and hot drinks.”

Staff at the pool are braced for a busy summer holiday season, having last year welcomed a record number of locals and tourists.

Some 4,500 came along in the period between mid-June, when refurbishment was completed, and December.

An action-packed timetable of pool activities, including aqua-fit and aqua-jogging classes, are run by a team from The Prince’s Foundation, based at nearby Dumfries House.