Martial arts group granted facility ownership

Founder of the Satorishido Martial Arts Association Albert Ross (left) gives Councillor Brian Topping a tour of the Fraserburgh Fitness Centre.
Founder of the Satorishido Martial Arts Association Albert Ross (left) gives Councillor Brian Topping a tour of the Fraserburgh Fitness Centre.

A martial arts group that has turned former tractor sheds into a thriving business has now taken over the site following discussions with Aberdeenshire Council.

After years of developing the facility, Satorishido Martial Arts Association has been granted ownership of the Fraserburgh Fitness Centre at James Ramsay Park on Maconochie Road.

The site previously housed tractor sheds used by the council’s landscape services team, and was taken over by the martial arts group around 10 years ago.

The group renovated the buildings to set up a gym hall and boxing ring, and has established itself as a popular community and sports centre that is well used and has a dedicated membership.

Around a year ago, the association began discussions with Aberdeenshire Council about the potential transfer of the site under the authority’s Community Asset Transfer scheme.

The discussions led to a report to the Banff and Buchan Area Committee, which endorsed the group’s business plan as providing a sound basis for the future management of the site and agreed that it be sold at a nominal sum to the association.

The process was finalised at the beginning of February this year, and Satorishido Martial Arts Association now has full ownership of the site.

Councillor John Cox, chair of the area committee, said: “This is a great example of a group making the most of a local asset and developing it into a resource for the whole community. It underlines our commitment not only to community empowerment, but also the wider regeneration plans for Fraserburgh.

“I’m delighted that this Community Asset Transfer has been achieved in a regeneration area, and I hope it inspires others to look at opportunities in their local area.”

Committee vice-chair and Fraserburgh councillor Brian Topping said: “I am absolutely delighted that this fantastic group have been handed over this building as part of the council’s community asset transfer scheme, as they richly deserve it.

“Albert and his team of club members and others from the local community have given up hundreds of hours of sweat and labour to totally transform the building into what you see today – a fantastic sports and leisure and community facility. I am very confident that this organisation will go from strength to strength.”

Founder and Chairman of the Satorishido Martial Arts Association, Mr Albert Ross, said: “Our group are committed to the development of fitness activities within the Fraserburgh area, and Aberdeenshire Council’s decision to grant a community asset transfer of the property at James Ramsay Park to us is a turning point in the history of this club.

“We work very closely with the Aberdeenshire sports and leisure department to improve fitness and sports activities for the Community of Fraserburgh and the surrounding areas.

“Our facility has become an important part of the sports infrastructure within the Fraserburgh area and we welcome Aberdeenshire Council’s understanding and confidence in our group. This community asset transfer will allow our group the opportunity for a further expansion planned for later this year.”

The Fraserburgh Fitness Centre is one of several community facilities which are now being run by community groups across Aberdeenshire following discussions with the council.

For more information on the Community Asset Transfer process, please visit www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/CAT/