Falkirk Community Trust has launched Scotland’s first immersive studio as part of a £1.2m redevelopment of Mariner Leisure Centre.

The trust, which operates sport, recreation, arts, heritage and library services on behalf of Falkirk Council, appointed leisure development specialist Alliance Leisure to deliver the project under the UK Leisure Framework.

Opened in 1985, the centre had just over 1,000 members when Alliance conducted its initial review of the site in 2019. The company’s latent demand report suggested a membership of more than 1,700 could be achieved by modernising the offer for today’s users.

The first floor of the centre has been redeveloped and now features Scotland’s first fully immersive workout environment, complete with a cinema size screen measuring almost 10m in span 2, top of the range audio and lighting systems and the Les Mills TRIP cycling workout.

The gym has almost doubled in size to 292 sqm, with more than 65 stations, including a Queenax functional training rig, sprint track, free weights, and two Keiser M7i wheelchair-accessible total body trainers.

There is also a newly created group fitness studio, which hosts a full timetable of live and virtual classes to complement the offering.

A separate review, conducted by Alliance Leisure, identified a need for wellness facilities to meet the needs of those not attracted by a traditional fitness offering.

The development therefore also includes a Shapemaster Hub, equipped with 12 pieces of power assisted equipment, which is designed for less mobile users, those who suffer from obesity or illness or are undergoing post-operative rehabilitation. A new office for Falkirk’s physical activity referral programme, Active Forth, will make it easier for the team to help those with more complex health issues to start their fitness journey.

The project has been funded by Falkirk Council and forms part of wider plans to revitalise the leisure offer in the area.

“We have been delighted to be working with the Trust to envisage how we may support developing the type of facilities and services needed to increase participation among modern users, while securing a viable future for their sites. It’s thanks to the UK Leisure Framework that they have been able to achieve their vision for Mariner Leisure Centre and we look forward to working with the trust on its future projects,” says James Foley, Commercial Director at Alliance Leisure.

Maureen Campbell, CEO of Falkirk Community Trust said: “The Mariner Centre is a key asset delivering opportunities to get ‘more people, more active, more often’ and deliver the aims of Falkirk Community Trust as a charity.

“Modernising and improving the quality of our services, including the introduction of a new immersive spin studio, expands our relevance into new audiences – those with high expectations and an appetite for new activities close to home.  In addition, the new dedicated Shapemaster Hub will help us provide access for harder to reach audiences.”