Construction of a new multi-million pound state-of-the-art swimming pool at Fraserburgh’s James Ramsay Park could commence in early July.
Tender documents have now been issued and with a return date fixed for the end of April it is expected that council officers will report to the committee in June and all going well construction could commence thereafter.
Having fought for a new pool for many years, local councillors were delighted. Councillor Ian Tait, told the Herald: “I am delighted that things have gone so well after the grant of planning permission and I would pay tribute to the council’s officers for achieving this result.
“The town and surrounding area desperately need this new pool. The young swimmers from Fraserburgh and district put in a massive effort for their sport and win awards across the country. They deserve the best.
“Swimming is a sport that goes across all the age ranges from the very young to the very old so it gives maximum opportunity to serve the community and bring both recreational and health benefits.
“I have fought for a new pool for many years in this council and in the old Banff and Buchan Council and kept it in the forefront of sports requirements in the plans for these councils.
“Eventually, when I judged that the time had come to form a community group to support what the council was doing, I called a public meeting and an organisation was formed at that meeting which developed into FISSH, the local pool fundraising group.
With severe cut-backs faced by Aberdeenshire Council, many had feared that the pool plans would fall by the wayside. Councillor Tait commented: “I believe that if it had not been granted planning permission on this site then it would have been caught up in the financial cutbacks the council is now undergoing.
“There would have been no time to go back and start again and we would have lost the pool.”
Councillor Brian Topping added: “The current pool in Alexandra Terrace first opened its doors in 1969, it is the oldest swimming pool in Aberdeenshire not to have been refurbished.
“I am absolutely delighted that the town is finally going to get the new swimming pool and leisure facilities it so richly deserves.
“Myself and Councillor Tait have campaigned for many years along with the local community to achieve this, it has been a tremendous community effort.
“The new facility will be fantastic for the town and surrounding areas and will contribute to the town’s economic recovery in so many ways complementing other leisure facilities already available in James Ramsay Park.”
Doreen Mair, chair of FISSH told the Herald: “FISSH are absolutely delighted that the new Fraserburgh Swimming, Sport & Community Centre has now reached this important milestone, everyone will soon be seeing the benefits from all their hard work in recent years, without their effort this simply would not have happened.
“FISSH also appreciate the huge part Aberdeenshire Council has played in getting the project to this stage.
“We have a very good working relationship with them on the project team and it has definitely paid off in the smooth running of the project and the amount of attention given to the needs of the area.
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As for future fundraising, Doreen continued: “It’s even more important now to support fundraising events for the project to ensure that the money will be in place to pay for the fun facilities. We will have a computer- generated image of the flume in the next few weeks so that everyone can see what it will look like. We also think it needs a name, and in the near future we’ll set up a competition to find it.
“In the meantime why not book a table for the Midsummer Ball to celebrate the start of the project. It’s on Saturday June 18, at the Fraserburgh Leisure Centre. It’s always a great night but this year it should be even more special as we hope the contract will have been awarded and the start of construction will be imminent. One of the Auction Items we hope to offer this year is the honour of cutting the first sod on the Construction Site, we are awaiting local authority approval for this. To Book tickets, at £30 per head, you can contact wither Kelly Pearson of 519177 or Doreen Mair on 514096.”