The ‘soft’ opening of the Crimond Medical and Community Hub was held, appropriately enough, earlier today on Good Friday.
For the feel good factor was definitely in evidence as invited guests were given a tour of the facilities, with an unveiling ceremony conducted by Banff and Buchan MSP Peter Chapman.
Welcoming the guests, Conrad Ritchie, chair of the Crimond Charitable Trust, told the gathering: “This is a huge milestone for the community and the charitable trust. It is testament to the vision of the trust and support of many that has seen us in the position that we are in today.
“The facility has been a huge commitment and a long time coming, but now it is complete and ready to serve the community.”
He then handed over to Charles Ritchie, principle trustee, who said he had been a client of Crimond Surgery for almost 70 years.
“On behalf of my family and friends we cannot thank this surgery enough for the support it has given us over the last seven decades.”
Commenting on the building, he said: “This is state-of-the-art. The costs, approaching £8m, may surprise some of you, but to comply with the latest health and safety regulations we constructed systems to the highest quality using local tradesmen.
“The trustees of the charity that has built this are very proud and privileged to have the honour to do so.”
Mr Ritchie added: “We can all look forward to a better future as a result of this day, knowing we are in poll position to advance the welfare of our local community.
Unveiling a plaque to the gathering, Peter Chapman said it was an honour to have been asked to perform the ceremony.
“What a stunning building,” he said, “ and what great asset to the folks of Crimond and round about. It will serve this community for generations to come.
“We have one man to thank for the building - Charlie Ritchie. He is an unstoppable force that made this iconic building a reality. It was conceived by Charlie, it was born of his imagination and it has grown to fruition as a result of his drive, hard work and commitment.”
Former Crimond GP, Dr Bob Murray, then took the floor, stating he was ‘extremely honoured’ to be at the event.
“This is a memorable occasion for the community of Crimond and the seven parishes.
“I hope the opening of this building will give local people the opportunity to take their health seriously, take more exercise and socialise more together.
“This building also has the capability to provide space for small business so we hope to see an increase in local employment,” he added.