Live Life Aberdeenshire opens Banchory's new multimillion pound sports village

Live Life Aberdeenshire has opened its latest state-of-the-art sports and recreation facility in the Deeside community of Banchory.
 
Aberdeenshire Provost Bill Howatson officially opened Banchory Sports Village today, (Friday, August 16) cutting a ribbon in front of invited guests from the local community.
 
It marked years of effort, including community fundraising, to establish the £8.5million facility in the Hill of Banchory area of the town.
 
Complementing Banchory’s other Live Life Aberdeenshire facilities, including the town hall, library and museum, it provides an excellent modern facility for residents and visitors.
 
It offers a six-lane, 25-metre pool and a training pool, as well as two squash courts with the capability to transform into a doubles court or extra fitness hall at the push of a button.
 
There is a large three-court sports hall lined for a wide range of activities and a well-equipped gym including free weights and modern fitness stations.
 
There is also a large number of spin bikes and a comfortable changing village, as well as a café operated by Aberdeenshire firm Symposium.

It is designed to be inclusive of the whole community, with excellent disabled access.
 
Local clubs tried out the new facilities today ahead of it being open to the general public tomorrow. (Saturday)

Representatives from Squash Scotland were on hand, trying out the state-of-the-art glass-backed squash courts.

Opening the venue, Provost Howatson said: “This town has long held an ambition for an increased sports and leisure offering and indeed this is an excellent point to acknowledge the dedication, vision and determination of the community-minded volunteers and fundraisers who contributed financially to this building.
 
“I also have to commend the Live Life Aberdeenshire and Aberdeenshire Council officers and staff who have worked alongside the community to provide a facility which I think everyone can be proud of.
 
“This is a community asset available to everyone in Banchory and the surrounding area, as well as those visiting the town. It has cost more than £8million to realise, with a substantial contribution from the community towards that.
 
“Live Life Aberdeenshire has high ambitions in terms of developing the already strong sports and culture offerings across the area and this building is to me a clear signal of that intent.”

Chair of the Live Life Aberdeenshire sub-committee, David Cook, said he was very impressed with the new facilities.

“One of the overarching aims of Live Life Aberdeenshire is to increase participation in sporting activity, given the benefit this can have to our lives,” he said.

“The opening of this excellent new facility is an opportunity to encourage anyone looking on to pick up that racquet, dust off those sports shoes, see what’s available at your local venue and get involved.

“I encourage anyone who hasn’t made use of their local Live Life Aberdeenshire facilities to give it a try and help us build a stronger community and continue to improve on the sports and cultural opportunities we offer.”
 
The project cost was met on the whole by Aberdeenshire Council, with a £700,000 contribution from Banchory Sports Village Trust after significant community fundraising.

Sportscotland allocated a grant to the project, along with North Banchory Company, who provided a contribution.

The current sports centre on Raemoir Road will be retained to complement the new facility and will be used to enhance the PE curriculum for young people attending nearby schools as well as continuing to support local sports clubs.

You can find out more, including how to join the Active Aberdeenshire membership scheme, on the Live Life Aberdeenshire website.