Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney


Active Life. More people, more active, more often.

Active Life activities.


ActiveLife is Orkney’s exciting new leisure scheme offering unlimited access to 12 different sports and leisure venues across the county, launching on 16 January 2017.

The joint initiative between Pickaquoy Centre Trust and Orkney Islands Council has one simple aim - to get more people, more active, more often.

Watch our promotional video!

Thanks to all the good sports who let us film them. We hope you enjoy this snapshot of the great facilities and activities available in Orkney.

Signing up?

You can sign up at the Pickaquoy Centre, Stromness Pool, KGS Sports Centre, Dounby Centre or any Healthy Living Centre from January 16, 2017.

What you need to bring

Bring full bank details including:

  • Branch Address.
  • Account Name/s.
  • Account Number and Sort Code.

You also need to provide proof of address (such as a recent bill or Drivers Licence) for each person aged over 18.

If you are on means-tested benefits and want to apply for the Budget option, you should also bring your award letter.

A one-off ‘part payment’ may apply

As direct debits for memberships will be taken on the 1st of each month, so there will be a one-off 'part payment' for the rest of January 2017 for folk wanting to start their ActiveLife membership straight away. So for example, that'd be £10.40 for individual memberships, and £15.68 for family memberships to cover the rest of January if you sign up on launch day, 16 January 2017.

More about the ActiveLife scheme

The scheme offers access to a host of facilities, activities and fitness classes available at:

  • The Pickaquoy Centre.
  • Seven Healthy Living Centres run by Orkney Islands Council around Orkney based at the community schools in North Walls, Rousay, Sanday, Shapinsay, St Margarets Hope, Westray and Stronsay Junior High (a link to th Healthy Living Centre pages is available from the 'Related Links' section of this page).
  • Stromness Squash Courts.
  • Stromness Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre.
  • Kirkwall Grammar School (KGS) Sports Centre.
  • The Dounby Centre.

The ActiveLife scheme is initially being launched as a two year pilot, which will be reviewed by the Council and the Picky Centre Trust after the first year.

Costs for an ‘ActiveLife’ membership will be:

  • Individual - £19.50 per month.
  • Family - £29.50 per month (two adults living at the same address and any number of children under 18).
  • Budget - 50p per person per activity (based on receipt of certain benefits - terms and conditions apply).

Memberships will include half price ‘Learn2Swim’ blocks for children, which can be taken up at the Picky and Stromness pools. For those who qualify for the Budget membership, children will be eligible to attend Learn2Swim blocks for 50p per lesson.

Activities include (where available at each of the venues):

  • Swimming.
  • Group exercise classes - over 50 a week with something for everyone.
  • Use of all gym, weights and exercise equipment across the facilities – including free initial inductions.
  • Use of health suites – sauna, steam room and jacuzzi.
  • Racket sports - squash, badminton, short tennis, table tennis.
  • ‘Jungle World’ soft play at the Picky (family memberships).
  • Inflatables and ‘Bouncy Castle’ sessions (family memberships).
  • Athletics track at the Picky.
  • Climbing and bouldering.
  • 50+ club activities.

More details on how to sign up will be made available in coming weeks via the local media and the Council’s ‘OIC Updates’ Facebook page and the Picky Centre’s social media - you’ll find links to these social media sites below, in the 'Related Links' section of this page.

We hope you will join us when we launch in January!

Frequently asked questions

Can I sign up yet?

Not yet! Launch day is 16 January 2017 – you’ll be able to sign up at any of the participating venues from that date. Keep an eye on local press, our social media and this webpage for more details.

How did it come about?

A key aim of both the Council and the Pickaquoy Centre Trust is to encourage and enable an active, healthy community. This scheme is the result of the Council and the Picky Trust working together to try to achieve this fully as possible. In other areas of Scotland, similar schemes have quickly attracted many new members, and seen increased usage of facilities – a win win situation!

So - what’s not included?

The scheme does not include cinema tickets, exercise classes paid for in a ‘block’, or personalised gym programmes after initial programmes offered during signup. Also, only Learn2Swim lessons are discounted under the scheme (ie AquaFun and Pre-School swim blocks remain at their usual price).

Who is eligible for the Budget option?

If you are receiving a ‘means tested’ benefit payment, ie income support, pension guarantee credit, job seeker’s allowance, or employment support allowance, you are eligible for the Budget membership giving you access to activities at any centre for 50p per activity. As these benefits are based on household income, anyone residing at your address can also access activities for 50p per session.

Individuals receiving a war disability pension, disabled living allowance, personal independence payment, attendance allowance or carer’s allowance are entitled to the Budget option also (but not members of their wider household).

I don’t want to take up an ActiveLife membership – what are my options?

You can still use facilities, at the standard ‘Pay and Play’ rate at individual centres. There are no concession rates - this is to help encourage people to take up the pilot scheme and tap into the flexibility and wide range of activities it offers.

But won’t this cost some people more?

For some, the new fee structure will represent a modest increase over the course of month on what they are paying for an activity at the venue they are signed up with. However - the new scheme will provide unlimited activity sessions, on a wide range of activities, across all 12 facilities, giving many more options to be more active, more often.

The scheme is designed to provide a budget option for those who have a demonstrable need for it (ie are in receipt of means tested benefit payments), and an attractive but affordable scheme for everybody else.

So while a small number of users might pay more for a monthly membership, on the whole the scheme enables most people to make more use of the excellent facilities we have in Orkney, with greater flexibility, more choice and less cost than ever before.

Related Links

Related Sites