Fury over vandal attack on new sports centre

VISIT: Councillors Tait, Topping, Buchan and Partridge all attended an official visit of the site last week.
VISIT: Councillors Tait, Topping, Buchan and Partridge all attended an official visit of the site last week.

Future users of the new community and sports centre in Fraserburgh were left angered last week when it emerged that vandals had targeted the site.

With just three weeks until the official opening of the new centre, it will have come as a blow for those hoping that the new attraction would bring a change of fortunes to the town.

An Aberdeenshire Council spokesperson told the Fraserburgh Herald of the damages caused to the new community and sports centre: “There have been a couple of minor incidents in the last few weeks and we would encourage anyone who

witnesses such incidents to report them to the police.

“The community have worked hard with the council to deliver a state of the art facility the town can be proud of and the vast majority of local people will be looking forward to using the new facilities when it opens in a few weeks time.”

The state-of-the-art facility will open on Saturday, February 9.

Meanwhile, control of the new £9m complex has been passed from developer Stewart Milne Homes to Aberdeenshire Council.

Recently, Fraserburgh councillors Ian Tait, Brian Topping and Charles Buchan, along with Troup councillor Hamish Partridge, all visited the centre on Friday, January 18.

In the coming weeks, the finishing touches to the centre will be undertaken, with equipment for the gym and dance studios being delivered and put in place. Staff are also being trained to work in the centre.

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 be available to the public up until February 8, when it will be closed and prepared for demolition. Classes and groups which use the existing swimming pool and community centre will be accommodated in the new facility.

The council is working with local bodies and organisations across Fraserburgh, including the Fraserburgh Development Trust and Fraserburgh Heritage Society, to maximise use of the new centre and ensure it complements the activities of other leisure and community facilities in the town.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee, councillor Isobel Davidson said: “It is exciting that there is less than a month to go before this cutting edge facility is unveiled to the public.

“This is not just a like-for-like replacement of the existing swimming pool and community centre, this is so much more than that. I hope that the new Fraserburgh community and sports centre paves the way for other facilities of its kind across Aberdeenshire.”

Committee vice-chair, councillor Ron McKail, said: “I hope that as well as providing the people of Fraserburgh with state-of-the-art facilities, that by working in line with other businesses and organisations in the town, it helps to attract new people to visit the area.”

Construction of the new facility, which features a six-lane championship 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.