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Funding deal struck by authorities

A deal has been struck between Scottish Swimming and their counterparts at British Swimming to fund a cluster of four high-performance centres for the sport.

It follows the decision to dispense with the previous UK-wide network of Intensive Training Centres, including Stirling, in the wake of Team GB's disappointing performance at last year's Olympic Games.

Stirling, run as a partnership with the city's university and the sportscotland Institute of Sport, will remain open but will now have equal status with upgraded hubs at Glasgow's Tollcross Centre, Edinburgh's Royal Commonwealth Pool and the soon-to-open facility at Aberdeen Sport Village.

Scotland will receive an annual block grant from the national governing body to administer the structure with an additional pro-rata slice of lottery money related to how many Scots are included on UK Sport's high performance programme. And Scottish Swimming's chief executive Forbes Dunlop believes the new-look set-up will pay greater dividends long term.

"It's always been our ambition and it's been in our performance plan to have four centres," he said. "They're all very different. But they'll all give us access to a 50 metre pool, full-time quality coaching, support services and also, for our senior athletes, an opportunity to study. This money will advance what we can do and the opportunities we can offer."

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