Building work on a £7.7million community sports village in Banchory is now officially underway.
Aberdeenshire Provost Councillor Bill Howatson stuck the ceremonial spade into the ground signifying the start of the construction of the long-awaited project at a special event last Friday.
The Provost said: “It is absolutely fantastic that building has now begun on this much-wanted, state-of- the-art sports village in Banchory.
“I am sure that children and adults alike will enjoy visiting it once it has been built.”
Councillor Anne Stirling, chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s communities committee, said: “I would like to pay tribute to our partners who have contributed significantly to the vision and development of what will be fantastic facilities.
“It has been a great example of a collaborative approach to delivering local services.”
She added: “We will continue to engage with the residents of Banchory and ensure that there is an appropriate method of communication throughout the construction process.
“I would like to make particular mention of the fund-raising group, Banchory Sports Village, who raised £700,000 towards the project.”
The sports village and cafe is being built on vacant land to the north of Hill of Banchory Primary School.
Various planning applications will see 130 homes, a care village and shops constructed on the site.
The sports centre will feature a six-lane swimming pool, training pool, three-court sports hall, fitness suite, exercise room and squash courts, changing facilities, storage rooms, staff facilities, public viewing areas and a cafe.
There will also be 103 parking spaces, five of which will be for disability use, plus five bicycle and three motorbike or moped spaces, along with a footpath linking the sports centre to the school.
It is anticipated the centre will officially open in May, 2019.