Ellon Academy Community Campus officially opened

Ellon Academy Community Campus on Kellie Pearl Way, Ellon was officially opened by Aberdeenshire Provost Hamish Vernal and Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities Keith Brown today (Friday, December 11).

Two plaques for the school and bridge connecting the campus were unveiled in front of an audience of pupils, staff, councillors and representatives from Farrans Construction.

The £36million facility includes a 1,200-capacity school and opened in August with new modern classrooms, learning zones, library, canteen, theatre and drama studios.

Sport and leisure facilities include community rooms, games hall, sports halls, fitness suite and the five-lane 25 metre swimming pool which has already seen over 25,000 people take part in swimming sessions.

The Community Learning and Development team is now located in one building, compared with previously being spread over three buildings. This has meant an increase in visitors as the team continues to support adult learners as well as young people.

In addition, North East Scotland College Ellon Learning Centre is part of the campus and offers full and part-time courses in subjects from construction to beauty therapy.

As part of the project a new footbridge called ‘Boatie Tam’s Brig’ has also been built connecting the campus to the town centre across the River Ythan and was named by a group of S2 pupils.

The majority of funding for the campus was provided by Aberdeenshire Council and also part-funded by the Scottish Government through the Scottish Futures Trust.

The ceremony recognised the work of all those involved in the planning and building of the campus as well as the contributions to the facility made by artist Mary Bourne.

Aberdeenshire Provost Hamish Vernal said: “This campus brings another fantastic facility to Aberdeenshire and will be an asset to people working, visiting and living in and around the area to use and enjoy.

“It is an honour to open the campus and I thank everyone involved in bringing these facilities to fruition.

“I know a lot of hard work has taken place from planning to delivery to ensure that, from the pool to the community rooms, everything has been built to the highest standard for people of all ages to use.”

Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities Keith Brown donated a tree to the campus from The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh and he said he hoped it would grow with the school.

He said: “I am delighted to officially open the new Ellon Academy Community Campus, and to see the fantastic new facilities that are benefitting pupils at the school.

“This new school was built as part of the first phase of the Government’s £1.8bn Scotland’s Schools for the Future building programme, and I am pleased that the Scottish Government was able to provide almost £19m in funding to help make this happen.

“Aberdeenshire Council has showed continued commitment to improving its school estate, and working in partnership with the Scottish Government and Scottish Futures Trust, this has enabled over a thousand pupils to be transferred into state of the art accommodation.”

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee Councillor Alison Evison said: “This is truly a community facility with a real sense of local ownership of the campus from the art work on the walls to the buzz from people who visit.

“The Ellon Community Campus forms a valuable part of the leisure, health and wellbeing offering in the area with thousands of people already taking part in a range of activities.

“The project is part of the council’s investment in new facilities across the area over the last few years which includes over £200million on new community campuses, sports, leisure facilities and primary schools.”

Associate Director at Scottish Futures Trust Grant Robertson said: “Ellon Academy is the 20th school to open in the SFT-managed Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme.

“We are delighted that not only will it provide 1,200 pupils with a state-of-the-art environment to learn, but the enhanced facilities are also for the local community to use.”