A SWIM centre in Dunfermline is set to splash into action in September.

Octotots has been running classes in several Fife Leisure Trust Centres but will soon add its purpose built training pool in Pitreavie to its facilities.

It will mean around 1,000 youngsters will be able to receive lessons at the Fife Swim Centre in Dewar House on the Carnegie Campus.

Owner Gill Currie says the new pool will help provide much needed opportunities after coronavirus restrictions has led to many children missing out in the last 18 months.

“It is so exciting knowing we can get kids in learning to swim,” she said. “Demand for swimming lessons have gone through the roof and waiting lists too so to be able to say we have got spaces that kids can get in and swim from September is great.

“Classes will run with a max of eight in the structured baby and toddler classes and we are also starting Octokidz classes which will be after school classes for between four and six children – they go in without a parent.”

Because the facility is being purpose built – with the swimming pool made from recycled plastic bottles which will help retain heat – Gill has been able to build in factors which will help the business to be Covid-compliant.

“We have been able to build things around Covid,” explained Gill. “Because it is a bespoke training centre, the footfall is going to be limited to those attending lessons whereas in leisure centres, they have other things going on but it will be only us here.

“The filtration system means we can minimise the amount of chlorine in the pool and it is a warm water pool so it will be much more pleasant, especially for babies.

“It has been a learning curve and it is really exciting being in control of what we do and being able to offer lessons at times which suit parents. We are still teaching in some trust pools, we had to reduce things down but we are still teaching in the Carnegie, Cowdenbeath, the Michael Woods and at Kirkcaldy.

“I want to make sure classes are accessible so people can still have options closer to home. The trust has been good with us.”

The new pool has meant Gill has had to take on extra staff so lessons can be offered seven days a week.

“We have had to more than double the number of teachers – we have gone from three members of staff to nine,” she added.

“There has been a lot of uncertainty for people and challenges with furlough and employment so it has been great to take on more people.

“We have about 500 due to start in September already so there are still spaces available.

"We have not told many people about it yet because so many things hinged on the opening with the planning application, change of use, building material so we have been quite quiet.

“Now we know definitely it is September 6, it is so exciting knowing we can get kids in learning to swim.”