Lawrence arches complete

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It’s way better than what was there before and it’s a lot easier on the eye as you enter the town

After weather and funding delays, the Lawrence Arches will be officially opened during the Lawrence Heritage Day and Colonsay Street Festival on November 4.

Lawrence Heritage Trust chairman Roger Cotton said it made sense to hold the opening on the same day.

He described the new arches site as “fantastic”.

“It’s way better than what was there before and it’s a lot easier on the eye as you enter the town,” he said.

“It is a real asset to the community, with its lights and grass area to relax on.”

Now painted white, the distinctive timber support arches that once supported the curved roof over the barrack-style structure of the old Lawrence covered swimming pool, have now been repurposed as the “arches”, inspiring the project name and its open-air open-space design.

Mr Cotton said the building work only took four months

“But we had a lot of fundraising and planning to do so it really took us nearly three years to complete,” he said.

The abandoned pool was finally demolished in January 2018 and the Lawrence Heritage Trust had campaigned for a number of years to keep the arches as a scenic feature for the township.

Project manager Marjorie Hay said she had been working on the project for three years.

“We went a little over budget at $70,000 but I’m very grateful to all the companies, councils and local people who contributed and supported this project in many different ways,” she said.

A park area has been created on site to create a memorable civic space for locals and visitors to use and relax in.

The official opening will start at 4.30pm with Scottish dancing.

Mrs Hay is now working on the trust’s courthouse project which she describes as being very exciting and hopes people attending the heritage day will take the opportunity to have a look inside and see all the good work the trust was doing there and in many other buildings along Colonsay St.