St Fergus pitch plans get massive support

Mark Gardner at the former recreation ground which is being transformed into the St Fergus Community Pitch thanks to a major funding drive and support from local businesses
Mark Gardner at the former recreation ground which is being transformed into the St Fergus Community Pitch thanks to a major funding drive and support from local businesses

Organisers behind a new village community facility are racing ahead with their ambitious plans.

A group of St. Fergus residents has been granted a ten-year lease by Aberdeenshire Council to develop a fit-for-purpose community pitch in the village.

Community pitch committee members Mark Gardner, Graeme Brown, Jamie Henderson and John McLean with the cheque from the Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation

Community pitch committee members Mark Gardner, Graeme Brown, Jamie Henderson and John McLean with the cheque from the Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation

The 2,270sqm facility on the former recreation ground to the south-west of the village will accommodate a host of different sporting and community activities alongside changing and toilet facilities.

Groundworks began on October 14 to prepare the access road and it’s hoped the project will be officially unveiled in the Spring.

Mark Gardner of the St Fergus Community Pitch Group praised both local businesses and Aberdeenshire Council for their assistance with the project.

He said: “We have received massive support from the council’s landscaping services in terms of pitch improvements, along with the tremendous help of the property and finance teams in arranging the lease.

“I would also like to thank all the local businesses who have supported us both financially and in-kind. It really has demonstrated what a strong community we have in St Fergus.”

From a funding perspective, the project is nearing its initial £60,000 target thanks to generous backing from the likes of Aberdeenshire Council’s Buchan Area Initiative Awards, the Gordon & Ena Baxter Foundation, the National Grid Community Grant Programme, PX Limited, Shell, Wood Group and the Scottish Hydro Electric Community Trust.

Kay Jackson of the Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation said: "Getting youngsters outdoors and involved in sport has immense benefits, not least to their health and wellbeing.

"Trustees were impressed with the positive drive behind this volunteer-led sporting initiative and the strong collaboration between several communities which has helped realise their goal."

Mark added: “The portable cabins will provide us with toilets, showers and changing facilities which will make a real difference. We have also just taken delivery of removable goalposts for the pitch when it's completed.

"The pitch will become the new home for The Haven football team which plays in the Buchan League and we have already had expressions of interest from the school and groups to start using the facility.

"We’re looking forward to hosting galas, family fun days, picnics, football parties and lots more besides.”