STAFF and customers of a nationally-renowned watersports centre much loved by Glasgow families are devastated today as it closes down for good.

Hopes for a U-turn by sportscotland turned to despair as bosses at the National Watersports Centre on Cumbrae in the Firth of Clyde, confirmed there would be no last minute reprieve.

One concerned campaigner called it a ‘true reflection of a decision based on the cost of everything and the value of nothing’.

Claire Carney, a passionate advocate of outdoor education, said: “The campaign to #saveouroutdoorcentres has rightly gained lots of traction - but what hope is there for smaller facilities when a government agency like sportscotland can close down a national centre?”

She added: “The battle for saving the centre was lost during Covid, as the island community, who gathered huge support through its Save the Wave campaign, have understandably had to concentrate on fighting to save their own small businesses in Millport.

READ MORE: Opinion: The short-sighted decision to close watersports centre is a disaster

“So where will it end? Fifty years of sail training for children, families, national squads, international regattas and Olympians, who have all passed through its doors. We have closed the one thing that is probably more important now than ever before - an outdoor centre. It is heartbreaking.”

Save the Wave gained support from double gold medalwinning Olympian Shirley Robertson, who told the Largs and Millport Weekly News the facility had played a ‘pivotal’ role in her sporting development.

A spokesperson for sportscotland said: “The decision to close Cumbrae was taken earlier this year following a lengthy review of the centre and prior to the current pandemic. We explored many options and Cumbrae remaining open was no longer feasible. Whilst we were disappointed at the closure, the review showed it was the right thing to do. We had hoped to deliver the summer 2020 season and our staff were working towards that prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The provision of some of the educational courses for children currently offered by Cumbrae National Watersports Centre will now be run from Inverclyde National Sports Training Centre. Other training provision will be provided by the Royal Yachting Association Scotland. We have also considered what future use of the Centre could bring greater benefit to the island and we are working with North Ayrshire Council, local councillors and members of the local community to look at options.”