First meeting to discuss pool goes swimmingly

Interested parties met for the first Banchory Pool and Leisure Centre Stakeholders meeting in the Hill of Banchory Community Centre on Thursday (April 18).

The meeting was well attended with representatives from many sporting and leisure groups in Banchory and surrounding area including swimming, indoor bowls, trampolining, gymnastics,squash plus community groups, other local organisations and representatives from education and leisure as well as local councillors, Jill Webster and Karen Clark.

The purpose of the meeting was for officers of the Council to outline the background to the development and the scope and status of the project and invite questions and views from the stakeholders in order to develop a facility tailored to the community’s needs.

This was the first in a series of meetings organised by Aberdeenshire Council with both stakeholders and the community and will form part of a series of consultation events in the area to further establish the detailed needs and views of the community.

The project is part of wider development plans for Banchory’s needs including other projects like the improvement of Scott Skinner Square and the Town Centre, the refurbishment of the Tennis Courts and Recreation grounds and the King George V Community project. The new facility plans would be developed taking consideration of these and other projects .

Aberdeenshire Council have committed £7.85 million in their Capital Plan to the project which will be delivered in partnership with North Banchory Company and Bandswim.

The Council has recently completed a similar project in Fraserburgh and stakeholders were shown details of this project as an illustration of what the Banchory project could look like.

The project has been a desire of the community for over 20 years and is only now possible due to the Capital commitment of the council and successful negotiations and commitments from both partners. Bandswim, having already raised around £200,000 in cash and pledges, have embarked on a fundraising campaign to raise another £500,000 as their contribution to the project.

It will consist of a 6 lane swimming pool with wet and dry sport and leisure facilities

Provost Jill Webster, Councillor for Banchory and Mid Deeside said: “The Council has really committed to Banchory and surrounding area with this major investment along with other improvements in the town and I am delighted to see the Project Plans start to be firmly put in place. This is just the first in a series of stakeholder and public meetings to ensure that the facility is designed as much as is practical and possible very much with the needs of the Banchory Community in mind.

She added: “It will definitely have a 6 lane pool and wet and dry sport and leisure facilities such as a sport hall and gym but at this stage it is important to establish the details of exactly what the community wants. I would therefore encourage any user group or potential stakeholder who would like to contribute to the development of the plans to get in touch.”