Work will begin on Fraserburgh’s new swimming pool, sports facilities and community centre on Monday with the ceremonial cutting of the first sod at the site.
As well as the construction of the pool and other facilities within one building, the old pool will be demolished and one of the existing football pitches upgraded.
To be built to high environmental standards, the new building will include a wide range of sustainable materials, high levels of insulation, the use of natural daylight and a biomass boiler.
It will include a competition specification six-lane pool, a small training pool, three court sports hall, a gym and a fitness studio.
The project is being built by Stewart Milne Construction Limited following the submission of a successful tender to the council. Just under £9million is allocated for the project in Aberdeenshire 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) will pay for a 40-metre internal flume.
It will also buy other fun and sports equipment which will benefit user groups if funds allow. The group is still actively fundraising and part of that process included bidding in an auction to cut the first sod, won by John Simpson of Fraserburgh Car Sales. The spade for the occasion was donated by C.and A West of Fraserburgh.
FISSH chairwoman Doreen Mair told the Herald: “We are absolutely delighted for the local community that this project has now reached such an exciting phase, and that they will soon see the benefits of all their campaigning and fundraising.
“It will be great if people can come along on the day to the sod cutting ceremony and be part of this historic event for the area – we hope there will be great weather, so make it part of a day out, take a picnic and enjoy the park.
“We still have a lot of hard work fundraising to do in the next few months to reach our target of £120,000, but we’re confident the people of the area will help us.
“We believe that this fantastic new facility, along with the equipment we provide, will be instrumental in helping the economic regeneration of Fraserburgh, which will be to the long-term benefit of the whole community.”
A fun day at the existing pool and community centre to launch FISSH’s “Splash for Cash” sponsor week is the next fundraising event on Sunday, September 4.
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Chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee, Richard Stroud, said: “This is great news for Aberdeenshire and Fraserburgh, as this facility will be a flagship for swimming, sport and community activities in Banff and Buchan.”
Vice chair of ELL, Isobel Davidson, said: “It’s great to see this project getting off the ground and it excites me to think what it will be like when it’s finished.
“I hope people in Fraserburgh and the surrounding area can make full use of the facilities and live even healthier and fun-filled lives.”
The new pool facility provides the main entrance area to the building, a village changing area with shower and toilet facilities, disabled user’s changing and toilet facilities.
As well as the 25-metre pool, there will be a multi use learner pool, raised bench seating at the poolside, a first aid room and sauna/steam room facilities with a rest area.
The reception and a large social area have views into both the pool and the sports hall, and the new sports centre provides team changing rooms, a fitness suite, youth room, office, meeting areas and a sports hall with various storage rooms.
The new community centre facility also provides a multi use room, a room that can accommodate children’s activities, toilet facilities and kitchen, together with various staff and office areas.
The design of the building has been aimed at obtaining a “very good” Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) rating.
BREEAM set the standard for best practice in sustainable design and has become the appropriate measure to describe a building’s environmental performance.
As such, a wide range of sustainable materials and design requirements have been incorporated into the building, which is expected to open its doors in early 2013.
Bill Imlach, managing director of Stewart Milne Construction said: “This is a significant project which will have an extremely positive impact on the local community and one in which we are delighted to be involved.
“We look forward to working with the Council and its partners on the project, and particularly to utilising our experience in sustainable building to ensure that the facility is delivered to the required standards.”