Sports village is officially open

Left to right - chair of Aberdeenshire Council's communities committee Anne Stirling, with Aberdeenshire Provost Bill Howatson, director of education Laurence Findlay and vice-chair of the Live Life Aberdeenshire sub-committee, Anne Simpson. Picture: Aberdeenshire Council
Left to right - chair of Aberdeenshire Council's communities committee Anne Stirling, with Aberdeenshire Provost Bill Howatson, director of education Laurence Findlay and vice-chair of the Live Life Aberdeenshire sub-committee, Anne Simpson. Picture: Aberdeenshire Council

The long-awaited Banchory Sports Village has been officially opened.

Aberdeenshire Provost Bill Howatson performed the ceremony at the £8.5 million facility last Friday.

It marked years of effort, including community fundraising, to establish the development in the Hill of Banchory area.

The centre has a six-lane, 25-metre pool and a training pool, as well as two squash courts with the capability to transform into a doubles court or extra fitness hall.

There is a large three-court sports hall lined for a wide range of activities, a well- equipped gym including free weights and modern fitness stations, and a cafe.

Provost Howatson said: “This town has long held an ambition for an increased sports and leisure offering and indeed this is an excellent point to acknowledge the dedication, vision and determination of the community-minded volunteers and fundraisers who contributed financially to this building.

“This is a community asset available to everyone in Banchory and the surrounding area, as well as those visiting the town.

“It has cost more than £8 million to realise, with a substantial contribution from the community towards that.

“Live Life Aberdeenshire has high ambitions in terms of developing the already strong sports and culture offerings across the area and this building is to me a clear signal of that intent.”