Work on Banchory’s long-awaited sports village is to get under way next month.
The decision announced by Aberdeenshire Council last Thursday has been warmly welcomed in the community.
The local authority will contribute £6 million through its capital plan, with £700,000 from the sports village fundraising group, and further funding from developer obligations.
Planning consent was granted in December, 2016, for the project which will include a reception/cafe area, a six-lane swimming pool, training pool, three court sports hall, fitness room, two squash courts/multi-purpose area, changing areas and meeting rooms.
Sports village fundraising chair James Knowles told the Piper this week: “We were always positive about the Banchory Sports Village being delivered.
“It’s Happening was what was said, and thanks to the council and to the many people who contributed.
“This is a major development for the Banchory area and we are looking forward to the doors opening and the facility being used by all age groups.”
Aberdeenshire Provost Bill Howatson hailed the council’s decision to proceed with the development.
He said: “This announcement will be welcomed in Banchory and we applaud the enthusiasm and commitment of local people for their fundraising efforts in order for them to realise the town’s ambition for new sporting facilities.”
Local politicians have praised the community for its hard work over many years towards the project.
Councillor Ann Ross said: “I am absolutely delighted that the Banchory Sports Village is moving forward.
“The Banchory Sports Village Trust have raised £700,000 towards the project, and all the fundraisers should be commended for their hard work.
“Their drive, determination and patience has made this project happen.”
Councillor Eileen Durno said: “I’m delighted with the public announcement that work is due to start on-site for the Banchory Sports Village in August.
“The local community has been tireless in its fundraising towards the cost and I applaud their efforts - a great example of community co-operation with the council.”
Councillor Rosemary Bruce added: “I’m delighted that the construction of the Banchory Sports Village will be starting soon and look forward to its completion in 18 months’ time.
“The local community have made a tremendous effort with their fundraising over many years and I know that we will enjoy using the new centre once completed.
“It will be a welcome addition to the community and enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.”
Construction is expected to take less than 18 months, with a provisional opening date planned for January, 2019.