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Garioch Rugby Club's new Community Hub plans submitted to planners

By David Porter

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A north-east rugby club which has seen a major increase in membership in the last five years is bringing forward plans for the redevelopment of existing facilities in the heart of Inverurie as it looks to the future.

The Hub would be created in Kellands Park in Inveurrie. Picture: McWilliam Lippe.
The Hub would be created in Kellands Park in Inveurrie. Picture: McWilliam Lippe.

Garioch RFC which is based at Kellands Park in Inverurie has seen a grown from around 350 members in 2019 to over 900 in 2023.

With a total of 18 teams (male and female) aged four to 74, all abilities are catered for, from ladies playing in the Scottish Premiership (and Scotland Futures) to walking rugby attended by more mature players and residents with disabilities from local assisted living accommodation.

In addition to rugby based activates, the club runs a weekly cafe providing free food and drink to the public, provides Syrian refugee language classes, is a venue for fundraising nights and is used as a meeting facility by various groups.

The existing facility is in a poor state of repair (energy efficiency/plumbing and drainage/wiring), there are only three changing rooms which is incompatible with the mix of adults and children, male and female, there is only one small referee changing room which is insufficient for a premiership team which involves three match officials and may be a mix of male/female, the first aid room is inaccessible to stretchers, there is no disabled changing and the community area (60 max capacity) is too small, uninviting, and dark.

The proposed new building which has been designed by McWilliam Lippe Architects has been designed to address these issues to provide a sporting facility which will meet the relevant requirements of Sports Scotland.

This includes providing four full sized changing rooms capable of being separated to avoid mixing of adults/children and/or male/female, male and female referee changing, a first aid room directly accessible from pitch, disabled changing facilities, increased and flexible community area (3x larger than existing) with associated services, separate meeting/community rooms and an indoor training area for when weather is bad and to accommodate larger events.

The new building will be used seven days a week and the alterations to the existing building and design of the new building along with increased footfall will hopefully discourage antisocial behaviour in the area.

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