What is MICE?
Mull and Iona Community Enterprise (MICE) was established in 1997 and chaired by Duncan Swinbanks to be the legal organisation to bring together the fundraising and campaigning by the community to get a much-needed swimming pool for Mull and Iona.
The new pool was opened on the 1st of March 2008 by Jim Mather, MSP and Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism and after their herculean efforts over so many years, Duncan and most existing directors and trustees of MICE wanted to stand down. They are to be congratulated for their supreme efforts and vision.
However, MICE needed to continue as the legal body to look after the assets of the pool for the benefit of our community. After appeals for new directors failed to recruit others to become involved, Duncan encouraged Mull and Iona Community Trust (MICT) take responsibility for the administration of MICE as an interim and caretaker solution. This is still the case and operates successfully with an independent board which includes islanders and the manager of the hotel.
What is the Isle of Mull Hotel link to the pool?
After many years of fundraising and various plans by the community, the management of the hotel generously offered to host the pool on their site and pay all the management costs including heating, staffing, repairs and insurances etc. In addition to this, they also contributed significantly to the actual costs of the build from their Crerar charitable trust. In exchange, the community agreed to fundraise and manage the build of the pool and to pay an annual (peppercorn) land rent.
What is the agreement with the hotel?
The average lifespan of a pool is reckoned to be 25 years before major refurbishment costs in terms of plant and other systems so the MICE agreement reflects that and have an agreement through to July 2032. Without the significant and ongoing costs that the hotel meets, the pool would not be able to operate as the income is a small contributor to these other costs. MICE is very grateful for the ongoing support the pool receives from the hotel.
The MICE 500 Club
Since inception, the 500 Club has made a massive contribution to our Community, particularly our children, in helping to provide the opportunity for them to learn to swim. As at the end of 2022 the 500 Club has contributed £13,885.12 towards setting up swimming lessons for our school children, including swimming teacher training. This has allowed us to put our swim teachers through nationally recognised swimming teacher qualifications and provide CPD sessions and further courses to continue to train and upskill our swim teachers. Our children are provided with regular, quality swimming sessions, organised through their relevant school. All seven Mull & Iona Primary Schools work with the Isle of Mull Community Pool staff and management to timetable regular swimming lessons at our Community Pool. We are also, more recently, in a position where we have trained teachers to offer swim lessons to our adult community to either learn to swim or to improve swimming techniques and skills, whether it be for competition or for enjoyment and health & fitness. Again, funding from the 500 Club helped put our adult swim teachers through their swim teacher qualifications.
Swimming lessons are now established as part of the Isle of Mull & Iona primary schools’ curriculum. As children grow and our community changes we need to be able to offer swimming courses, as and when necessary, to bring on new swimming teachers to continue this vital, lifesaving provision. Without the 500 Club we would undoubtedly find it financially challenging to continue to provide top quality nationally recognised swimming teacher courses.
The 500 Club endeavours to have 500 members as a community fundraiser so we can continue to provide these quality swimming lessons, teaching a vital lifesaving skill, through our schools and also to our wider adult community.
Each year, 50% of the money raised from the 500 Club is awarded as prizes to lucky winners of our annual Christmas draw with the remaining 50% supporting our community in the water.
There are spaces available in our 500 Club! We ask you continue your support or join the Club so we can in turn continue to support our community in providing quality swimming lessons. To join, please email: email@example.com
How can I contact MICE?
You can email the MICE trustees at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us via our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/MullandIonaCommunityEnterprise