Progress on Catto Park sport concept

The League 2 hoardings at Balmoor
The League 2 hoardings at Balmoor

The Working Group behind the Catto Park project are delighted with the progress being made as the concept for the site begins to take shape.

Since the report by PMR Leisure was published in August, Peterhead FC and Aberdeenshire Council have agreed to support the development phase.

Site investigations have taken place to identify any ground conditions which may cause concern along with identifying appropriate pitch layouts and the positioning of the new community facilities.

We can reveal that the site layout for the improved pitches can accommodate, through ground levelling, a full size FIFA2*/IRB 22 synthetic pitch for football and rugby; a full size synthetic hockey pitch; full size grass rugby and football pitches.

The site layout will also allow for the existing athletics track to be upgraded in situ.

The most appropriate location for the new indoor facilities will be clustered around the existing Balmoor Stadium building to enable a ‘gateway’ to be created for the site.

Penny Lochhead, director PMR Leisure who are leading the project through this stage, is “delighted” that the Working Group of 13 community representatives have come together to help shape the future of Catto Park.

She said: “The recent appointment of Michael Laird Architects will now allow us to work towards taking the brief into a live concept.

“An added dimension to the project is the integration into the design of a new potential location for the Day Service Team from Willowbank.”

The working group recently met at Fraserburgh to view firsthand the Banff and Buchan college campus as part of the scoping exercise.

Ms Lochhead explained: “It is an amazing building there and it gave the group some great ideas on use of space.”

Explaining the choice of architects, she added: “They undertook to fully research the project prior to interview, gained an understanding of the mix of challenges of an old and new build and recognised the importance of Willowbank in the solution.

“At interview they impressed the panel and everyone agreed they would bring something special to the project group based on previous creative work they have delivered in this type of arena.”

The firm have worked on the ABC Nightclub in Glasgow, Jenners’ store front in Edinburgh, the Falkirk Wheel Cafe and the extensive RBS complex in the capital.

Una Simpson, Day Service Manager, who sits on the Working Group, said: “The possibility of a new location in Peterhead for our relocation and the opportunity at Catto Park presents a very exciting opportunity for us to explore.

“It was essential for us to be part of the design team appointment process and we feel Michael Laird Architects have the ability to bring a creative solution to what will be a unique sporting and community resource.”

It is hoped by February 2014 the concept will be developed and costed so the project can be taken back to the council for the next stage in the process to achieving fantastic new facilities at Catto Park.

The group believes this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a unique and exciting combined sporting and community project bringing together the needs of the town onto one site to build a lasting legacy for Peterhead.