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Investment plan looks to improve north-east pitches and outdoor space

By David Porter

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Aberdeenshire Councillors will be asked this week to agree the key principles of a new Pitch and Outdoor Physical Activity Space Strategy which includes major investment in facilities in towns including Turriff, Ellon and Huntly.

The strategy centres around the approach of using network pitch plans and will run with a prioritised scheme to enhance capacity where it is required.

Councillors will also be asked to approve a move to created one single process for the community booking of pitches, while recognising that Education should control school pitch use during term time.

The report to full council is asking members to consider allocating additional capital funding for the strategy of £2,870,000 over the period 2021 – 2028; subsequent additional annual

borrowing costs of £201,000 and initial additional revenue costs of £109,993 (22/23); £75,214 (23/24) and £50,143 thereafter.

Benefits of the strategy are expected to be an improvement in the quality of pitch provision and increased capacity to meet demand, greater community ownership of pitches and an improved and future integrated booking system.

Pitches will be designated as either competitive pitches, community pitches or simply public spaces, with maintenance and pricing established accordingly.

A comprehensive breakdown of total investment shows that the full list of projects which are in the priority list equate to just under £9million in projected cost -

For the Banff and Buchan area the plans include -

Reconfiguration work and removal of permanent goals at Banff Academy.

Establishment of four grass pitches as ‘competition sports pitches’(Two Banff/Macduff, two Fraserburgh).

Undertake additional infrastructure and maintenance of the two pitches at Duff House, Banff to increase their usability.

Reconfiguration work and removal of permanent goals at James Ramsay park, Fraserburgh to allow rotation of goalmouths.

Possible improvements to the James Ramsay Park Pavilion: Upgrade changing rooms (including showers) Reconfigure internal spaces or replacement of the whole pavilion.

In Formartine plans include-

Creation of a floodlit synthetic facility able to cater for football and rugby in the Ellon area (requires investigation of suitable land).

Invest in changing facilities at the current tennis club to assist both tennis, football and cricket at Gordon Park.

Invest in storage solutions at Gordon Park (football, cricket, tennis).

Establish four grass pitches as a ‘competition sports pitches’(Two Ellon, one Meldrum, one Turriff).

Upgrade pitch provision in Methlick to promote further development of the Methlick pleasure park.

Reconfiguration work and removal of permanent goals at Lower Haughs to allow rotation of goalmouths.

Replacement of the whole pavilion at Lower Haughs.

Install two x tennis courts at Turriff sports centre.

For the Buchan area projects include-

Establish five grass pitches as a ‘competition sports pitches’(One Mintlaw, four Peterhead).

Invest in two existing sports pitches in Peterhead to turn them from poor quality clay pitches to high quality sports pitches.

Purchase portable ‘dugouts’ for the All Weather Pitch at Pitfour Park, Mintlaw.

Modernise the existing floodlighting at the Pitfour Park All Weather pitch.

Undertake additional infrastructure and maintenance work to two grass pitches in Mintlaw and surrounding area.

Investment into the development of the Victoria Road site, Peterhead, in partnership with local groups (PACT).

In the Garioch work would see -

Upgrades into Lawsondale and Denman park pavilions.

Invest in pitch facilities at Blackburn.

Develop pitch and pavilion facilities at Kellands Park, in partnership with rugby and cricket clubs.

Improve parking, changing and improve existing grass pitches in Insch, potentially in partnership with Bennachie Leisure Centre

Develop new grass pitch and pavilion facilities in Kintore, subject to planning permission.

Establish a grass pitche as a competitive sports pitch at Kemnay.

Develop facilities at Bogbeth Park, Kemnay.

For the Marr area priorities include-

Continue working with community groups to support a replacement all weather pitch at Christie Park, Huntly.

Investment in Huntly Nordic Outdoor Centre to broaden itsrange of service delivery and improve links with similar facilities.

Establish four grass pitches as a‘competitive sports pitches’(One Aboyne, one Alford, one Banchory, one Huntly) includes drainage works required at Banchory

Improve existing grass pitches at new campus (Alford).

Capital improvements to the Sir Arthur Grant Centre, Monymusk.

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