Banchory outdoor centre gets five stars

Gilan Kelly receives his award from VisitScotland's Jo Robinson
Gilan Kelly receives his award from VisitScotland's Jo Robinson

A Deeside outdoor centre has been awarded five stars by the national tourism organisation.

Battle Grounds Adventure Activities, near Banchory, was graded following a first assessment by VisitScotland officials.

The facility at Druggam Woodlands offers paintballing, laser tag, archery and bubble football.

It was established eight years ago by Gilan Kelly who steadily built up the business.

His achievements were recently recognised when he was announced as a finalist in the Grampian Awards for Business Excellence in the Spirit of Enterprise category.

Battle Grounds has a staff of 12 and is home to the Scottish Paintball League.

It is the only Aberdeenshire/City Council-approved paintball venue and is the sole site in Aberdeenshire to host walk-on paintball days for regular players.

Mr Kelly said: “Receiving such a prestigious five star VisitScotland award is wonderful recognition for the years of hard work myself and the team at Battle Grounds have put in.

“Since moving to our current location, we’ve invested a huge amount of time and effort and worked tirelessly to expand our offering to our customers.

“We’re thrilled to be the only five star adventure activity centre in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire and are very excited to continue our expansion with a real focus on our customers.”

He was presented with the award by Jo Robinson, VisitScotland regional director.

She said: “This a great story of a small business building itself into a must-visit experience and to attain five stars at a first grading visit is impressive to say the least.

“I hope their success sets an example to other businesses to join the Quality Assurance scheme, which benefits tourism businesses and visitors alike.

“It is vital that everyone involved in tourism works together to offer visitors a fantastic experience when visiting and staying in Aberdeenshire.”