New Broch pool complex ahead of schedule

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Construction of the new Fraserburgh sports and community centre is running ahead of schedule.

It is expected that the state-of-the art facility will open to the public in February 2013, with the exact date yet to be confirmed.

A public open day will be held at the Broch Community Centre on Wednesday, December 5, to give members of the local community more information about how building work is going, how the new centre will look and to answer any questions.

Locals will also be asked to give their views on how they use facilities in the town, to help ensure that community needs are met all across Fraserburgh.

The brand new £9m complex, built as part of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning & Leisure Capital Plan, will replace the existing swimming pool and community centre in Fraserburgh, the oldest in Aberdeenshire.

A stakeholder group, made up of council officers and representatives from various community groups, met for the first time on Wednesday, November 14.

The group were shown images of the new centre and discussed a range of issues including the opening programme of events and ways in which community groups can be accommodated.

They agreed that the programme of events and accommodation should be provided Fraserburgh-wide and not just concentrated on the new facility.

Construction of the new facility, which features a six-lane championship pool, sports and fitness facilities and a range of community and learning activities, began in the summer of 2011.

Just under £9 million is allocated for the project in the council’s Capital Plan alongside SportScotland lottery funding of £500,000.

Community fundraising by local group FISSH (Fraserburgh area Initiative for Swimming, Sport and Health) will pay for a 40-metre internal flume, the only one of its kind in Aberdeenshire.

They will also buy other fun and sports equipment which will benefit user groups, if funds allow.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning & Leisure Committee, Cllr Isobel Davidson, said: “This is not just a replacement swimming pool, it is so much more than that – a £9 million state-of-the-art facility which will create opportunities for leisure, community and cultural activities.

“The community has been involved, and continues to be involved, in shaping the new centre and I hope it is something the people of Fraserburgh can be proud of.”

The arrival of an iconic piece of artwork earlier this month has marked the latest development in the construction of the sports and community centre.

The “Community Spirit” sculpture, created by Boyndie-based article Carn Standing, has now been suspended above the main social area of the facility, greeting visitors as they arrive.

Committee vice-chair, Cllr Ron McKail, said: “The final touches are now being put in place for a unique facility which will be the most modern and advanced of its kind in Aberdeenshire.

“This new centre will be a flagship for swimming, sport and community activities in Banff and Buchan and I am looking forward to seeing it finished.”

Chair of FISSH, Doreen Mair, said: “Carn Standing’s original concept looked impressive, but seeing it in situ is really special.

“It’s an inspiring piece of art in an inspiring facility. We hope that the people of Fraserburgh will like it.”

The public event will run at Broch Community Centre on December 5 from 3.30pm until 7.30pm.