Plans lodged for sports village

An artist's impression of Banchory Sports Village
An artist's impression of Banchory Sports Village

The long-awaited Banchory Sports Village project has moved a step closer - with work set to start within a year.

Aberdeenshire Council has tabled a full planning application for the new sports centre at Hill of Banchory.

All of us are looking forward to work commencing on the long-awaited sports village for Banchory

James Knowles Sports Village Trust

The facility will include a six-lane swimming pool which will be suitable for competitions, as well as a training pool, sports hall, squash courts, fitness room and accompanying changing and cafe areas.

With the planning application now lodged, and subject to approval, work on the new centre could start in the summer of next year.

The project is expected to cost around £8.5 million, £700,000 of which is a contribution from Banchory Sports Village Trust after significant fundraising by the community.

There is ongoing engagement with the local residents

and the groups that will use the centre and a public consultation will take place as part of the planning process.

The current sports centre will complement the new facility and will support Banchory Academy in delivering the PE and wider curriculum.

The latest move in the long-running project has been welcomed in the community.

James Knowles, Banchory Sports Village Trust’s fundraising chair, told the Piper: “Another step forward for the project in the planning process.

“To obtain planning permission will then be followed by appointment of a contractor by the Aberdeenshire Council and definitely progress is being made.

“We are pleased to indicate it’s happening and all of us are looking forward to work commencing on the long-awaited sports village for Banchory.”

Mary Lennox, chair of Banchory Community Council said: “The community council is delighted and also relieved that detailed plans have finally been lodged and hopes that there will be no further slippage in the timetable.

“The people of Banchory and district have been waiting for a very long time for the sports centre and we look forward with enthusiasm to seeing the building go up and come into use as soon as possible.”

The sports village fund is nearing the target of £700,000 towards the project.

It currently stands at close to £650,000 and trust officials are making a final push to reach the final figure. *Turn to Page 15 for news of the latest boost to the sports village funding campaign.