Calls for new pool in Banchory

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The Piper has had an overwhelming response from Banchory residents calling for better facilities in the town.

There have been a number of queries from locals asking about a new swimming pool in Banchory, including a letter from Piper reader Rowena Brand.

Banchory councillor Jill Webster responded (August 24) by saying she agreed that there was a need for a new pool and the council had made significant progress to make it happen over the past 12 months.

Mrs Brand welcomed the reply but argued that councillors first met 60 years ago to discuss the idea and the town is still without a public pool (see page 22).

Via Facebook, we asked our readers if they felt Banchory was in need of a new swimming pool - and they didn’t hold back.

Ian Stewart said: “Of course we need a pool - it must be 15 years since the community raised £100K and the money’s been lying unused in a bank account ever since - what a waste.

“If it’s not going to be used for a pool, then it should be spent on some other community project.”

Craig Fitzpatrick added: “I remember watching the swimming pool fundraiser meter outside the Raeburn and Christie solicitors and thinking “not long to go now” and then as it got near the top I was disappointed to hear it wasn’t going ahead. If it doesn’t go ahead now I think it would be a wasted opportunity. Stop building houses and start building the swimming pool. A swimming pool and gym facility would be the best solution. This would take in more customers too I believe.”

Gillian Abernethy, who has just moved back to Banchory from Shetland, said the facilities there “puts Banchory to shame”.

Julie Morrice, who has lived in Banchory for 37 years, feels leisure facilities have been ignored as the town has continued to grow.

She said: “Banchory deserves more, it’s no more a village! We should have the facilities to go with the amount of residents we now have!

“Having been a local all my life nothing much has changed apart from supermarkets and a new school, which of course is brilliant.”

Gillian Buckley and Deborah Robb agreed, saying there should be much more available to residents - adults and children alike.

Duane McAvoy added: “We have been waiting over 20 years for this pool to materialise, allegedly other councils think Banchory doesn’t need a second pool and they seem to think that we are an affluent area that doesn’t need government funding.

“The facilities and shops at our disposal is laughable, look at the changing room in the King George V park!

“Supposedly there is a business plan in place for the new sports centre at Hill of Banchory, but it should have been built straight away along with new houses and school.”

Joanne Burt believed that a youth club would stop youngsters from going to house parties at the weekend, while Iain McDonagh suggested the town could benefit from an independent cinema, annual folk festival and a street party at new year.

Banchory snowboarder Ben Kilner, who competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics, believes new facilities could inspire local youngsters to follow in his footsteps.

“(I’m) having to travel to town six days a week to train when I’m home,” he said. “It would be nice to have a decent sports gym and swimming pool in a place like Banchory where sport is thriving.

“As well as making it easier for those wanting to get fit, it could also be a massive benefit to those committing to and dreaming of sporting success.”

What do you think could benefit your town or village in Deeside and Donside? Let us know at news@deesidepiper.com or leave us a comment on Facebook or Twitter.