Venue change for Bute swimming conference

Organisers of the World Open Water Swimming Association’s global conference, taking place on Bute this weekend, have announced a late change of venue for the event.

The conference, which runs from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon, will now take place at the Isle of Bute Discovery Centre in Rothesay, instead of at Mount Stuart as originally planned.

The venue for an open water swim at 2pm on Sunday, bringing the event to a close, has also been changed - it will now take place at Kerrycroy Bay on the island’s east coast, instead of at Stravanan Bay on the west.

A spokesman for Vigour Events has explained that: “A decision was taken by Vigour Events to switch the conference to an alternative venue. Representatives of the Mount Stuart Trust have been fully supportive of us during the process and have provided excellent assistance in helping us to organise a new venue on Bute.

“The conference will now take place in the Isle of Bute Discovery Centre and we are thankful for the help of Visit Scotland in arranging this. Delegates will still have the opportunity to tour Mount Stuart over the weekend and we hope they will enjoy this tour as part of an excellent weekend in Bute.”

Mount Stuart itself was due to be closed to the public this weekend to allow the conference to take place, but the house and grounds will now be fully open to the public on both Saturday and Sunday.

Vouchers for reduced entry are to be distributed to island accommodation providers and to the Discovery Centre before a busy weekend on the island, which also sees the Baird of Bute Festival of Flight on Saturday and the Bute Wheelers’ Festival of Cycling on both Saturday and Sunday.

A spokesperson for Mount Stuart Trust said: “Whilst it is unfortunate that the conference is not being held at Mount Stuart, we are pleased that we could work with Vigour Events to find an alternative venue on Bute.

“Delegates visiting the conference will still be able to sample the excellent hospitality the island has to offer and we look forward to welcoming these visitors for tours of the house over the course of the weekend.”

Members of the public can take part in Sunday’s open water swim at Kerrycroy in return for an entry fee of £15, payable at the venue, to cover the hire of a wetsuit and essential safety equipment.