The Fraserburgh Community and Sports Centre will open its doors to the public on Saturday 9 February 2013 - two months ahead of schedule.
Activities at Aberdeenshire’s largest sports and community will be available free of charge during the opening day.
The state-of-the-art facility will open its doors at 10am, with the first six swimmers taking to the pool half an hour later.
Ranging in age from 11 to 68, the six have been chosen for their love of swimming and dedication to the old Fraserburgh swimming pool which has now closed to make way for the new centre.
11-year-old Morgyn Lyn Brown will then join the festivities as the first person to use the new flume at the swimming pool. Morgyn received the honour after winning a competition to name the flume, with her entry, the “Ramsay Rapid”.
A special programme of activities has been put in place for the opening day, including free half hour swimming sessions between 10:45am and 3pm.
Visitors will be able to try a variety of activities in the sports hall, including table tennis and football penalty shoot outs.
The various multi-functional and learning rooms will also be open to the public, showcasing the range of activities which can be held there. These include performances from local dance groups, an IT drop-in session and a demonstration from a local music group.
The Fraserburgh Community and Sports Centre is the biggest facility of its kind in Aberdeenshire. Features include a 25m swimming pool and smaller learner pool; a flume; multi-use sports hall including gymnastic equipment; dance studio; training kitchen; two saunas and a steam room; a pop-up library and a number of multi-purpose rooms.
From Saturday visitors will be able to sign up for membership for the new centre, including Active Aberdeenshire membership which offers access to all Aberdeenshire Council leisure facilities.
Sports enthusiasts will be able to book facilities at the Fraserburgh Community and Sports Centre from Sunday, using the phone number for the old swimming pool, 01346 518627.
Since control of the new £9 million complex was passed from developer Kier Milne to Aberdeenshire Council midway through January, staff have been working hard to make sure everything is ready for the facility to open its doors at the weekend.
Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee, councillor Isobel Davidson said: “The Fraserburgh Community and Sports Centre is the result of years of campaigning by and consultation with the local community and I am really pleased that people will now be able to use the state-of-the-art facilities.
“The opening day on Saturday will be a chance for people to come and see the new centre and find out about the huge range of opportunities on offer there.”
Committee vice-chair, councillor Ron McKail, said: “The council has been working with local bodies and organisations across Fraserburgh to maximise use of the new centre and make sure it complements other activities in the town.
“The Fraserburgh Community and Sports Centre will be a welcome addition to leisure and community facilities in Fraserburgh.”
The initial opening at the weekend will be followed by an official launch in the coming months.
The cutting edge facility, built as part of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Capital Plan, replaces the existing swimming pool and community centre in Fraserburgh, the oldest in Aberdeenshire.
Facilities at the existing centre and swimming pool will close to the public on Friday 8 February and prepared for demolition at a later date.
Discussions have been ongoing with all classes and groups which use the existing swimming pool and community centre, to ensure that they are accommodated in the new facility, while there is lots of extra capacity available for new lets.
Construction of the new facility, which features a six-lane competition standard pool, sports and fitness facilities and a range of community and learning activities, began in the summer of 2011.
Just under £9 million is allocated for the project in the council’s Capital Plan alongside SportScotland lottery funding of £500,000.
Community fundraising by local group FISSH (Fraserburgh area Initiative for Swimming, Sport and Health) paid for a 40m internal flume, the only one of its kind in Aberdeenshire. They have also purchased additional inflatable equipment which will benefit user groups.