Residents turn out for MACBI official opening

The official opening of the MACBI Community Hub in full swing.
The official opening of the MACBI Community Hub in full swing.

Scores of Central Buchan residents have turned out for the official opening of the MACBI Community Hub in Mintlaw.

Local councillors, residents, youngsters from Theatre Modo and others involved in the MACBI project flocked to the community centre for the official opening ceremony last Saturday.

Also in attendance was the Chief Executive of Aberdeenshire Council, Colin Mackenzie, the Leader of the Council, councillor Jim Gifford, and MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford.

Former Banff and Buchan MP Sir Albert McQuarrie was invited to open the long-awaited facility and delivered a speech to the many visitors who turned out for the special event.

Sir Albert was joined by Provost Jill Webster, Councillor Norman Smith, who has been heavily involved with the project for many years, and MACBI director John Pascoe - all of whom made opening remarks.

Thereafter, many of the visitors watched a large group of ‘Zumba kids’, who delivered a fantastic dance performance, and also enjoy a buffet inside the facility.

There was a range of activities on offer for families and children throughout the open day - including circus activities, a climbing wall, a bouncy castle and face painting.

The facility has been open to the public for nine months and has proved to be extremely well-used by community groups and individuals since opening.

Commenting, Dr Eilidh Whiteford said: “This really is a fantastic facility and credit must go to the hard-working local committee who have pushed this project forward over the past ten years.

“The Centre will be a real boost for Mintlaw and Central Buchan and provide facilities for a range of organisations and community groups. Indeed, I’ve already held one of my surgeries in it a few months ago and can vouch for the facilities.

“I’m delighted for the committee that their hard work has paid off so handsomely and I’m sure they now look forward to seeing the building being very well-used by the local community.”

Central Buchan councillor Norman Smith commented: “It’s 10 years that I’ve been involved with this so it’s fine to see it come to a conclusion.

“But saying that, we’re not going to be complacent, we’re going to do a lot of hard work to keep the place sustainable.

“It’s been a lot of hard work by a dedicated team of directors and committee members to get it to this stage and they’re reaping their rewards for their efforts.”

Fellow Central Buchan councillor Lenny Pirie added: “It was a great pleasure to attend the official opening and see just how well-received the new building has been by the local community.

“It boasts a great range of facilities from fitness areas to meeting space and will be a tremendous asset to the growing communities of Mintlaw and Central Buchan.”

Speaking earlier in the day, MACBI Director John Pascoe said: “We’re really looking forward to an enjoyable day and showing the local community what we’re all about.”