Work to start on new sports centre

Work will start at the Hill of Banchory site next month
Work will start at the Hill of Banchory site next month

Work on a new sports centre in Banchory will begin next month.

Site clearance will get under way in December, ahead of construction starting in January. Completion is expected in May, 2019.

An artist's impression of Banchory Sports Village

An artist's impression of Banchory Sports Village

It follows the completion of legal agreements at the end of last week.

The long-awaited project is expected to cost around £8.75 million, £700,000 of which is a contribution from Banchory Sports Village Trust after significant fundraising by the community, with a similar amount being added from developer contributions.

Concern had been growing in the community that there was no sign of work starting at the Hill of Banchory site. The new sports village 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.

Chairman of Banchory Sports Village Trust Keith Mair said: “It is exciting to think this project is finally under way and that we should have our sports village open by May 2019.

“This £8.5 million project was won for Banchory by our commitment to raise £700,000 from the community so a special thank-you is due to James Knowles and Rebecca Glansbeek for their leadership of the fundraising campaign, to the committed local citizens whose generous individual donations were key to reaching our target and to all the community groups who put so much effort, enthusiasm and creativity into their various fundraising projects.”

A North Banchory Company spokesman said: “We have been committed to playing our part in delivering this project for a number of years, and, having contributed in excess of £1million of value to the project, we are delighted to see it finally moving forward on site.”

Banchory Community Council chair Mary Lennox said: “It will be a great relief for people to see work begin at last. After the massive effort by the community of Banchory to raise £700,000 for the project, the community really needs to see construction workers on site and the building begin to take shape.”