Aberdeenshire councillors have praised the progress made in the development of New Deer’s new all-weather sports facility.
The first phase of the project, which has been in the pipeline for more than a decade, is complete barring fixtures and fittings.
Project co-ordinator and local community councillor Helen Young last week gave four Aberdeenshire councillors a tour of the site.
The new changing room block has enough space for four full football teams.
Mrs Young said: “They say it takes 10 years to get a community development like this up and running and that’s where we’re up to now.
“The facility is up to competition standards which means we can attract bigger events and tournaments.
“The money generated means we can keep the cost to the public down.”
The sports complex off Fordyce Road is powered with a combination os sustainable energy which includes solar panels and a ground source heat pump.
Mrs Young, a former nurse, continued: “I’ve worked in the private sector and I’ve worked in the public sector but I’ve learnt you have to work doubly hard to get a voluntary project like this going.
“I think it comes down to credibility but we have that now with what’s on display.”
Aberdeenshire Council’s four Central Buchan councillors visited the site with Buchan Area Manager Chris White last week.
Cllr Lenny Pirie (SNP) said: “I would like to congratulate Helen Young and her team for creating an excellent facility for the community of New Deer.
“It will be a great asset for the village and I am sure it will be well used by all age groups and encourage them to lead a healthy lifestyle.”
His thought’s were echoed by cllr Jim Ingram (SNP): “I’m happy with what I’ve seen. It’s been a long time in the planning and New Deer can be proud of the development.
“When you look at drawings it’s hard to envisage the scale of it, but seeing the site I know it will meet the needs of the community.”
Conservative cllr Edie Chapman said: “I was delighted to see the progress made since my last visit and look forward to seeing the project completed and fully operational.
“The £200,000 funding from Aberdeenshire Council together with the funds raised by the New Deer Sports Facility Committee has been used for a project which will benefit the local community and surrounding area for many years to come.”
And cllr Norman Smith (Independent) added: “I’m delighted to see the project at a advanced stage it is a credit to Helen and her team to get where they are.
“New Deer and surrounding area will certainly benefit from the state of the art facilities.”
The team behind the development are now looking for sponsorhip to raise the vital final funding to pay for fixtures and fittings.
Mrs Young is inviting businesses to sponsor the changing rooms with their own branding.
In 2003 the New Deer Community Association carried out extensive community consultation and an all weather sports facility was reported to be the top priority.
The new building will have CCTV surveillance, two official rooms, a committee room with multipurpose kitchen and serving hatch.
Each of the four team changing rooms contains toilet and shower facilities.
Until now the area around the pitch has been largely unused and the association decided that by demolishing the existing structure a 30 by 40 metre pitch could be installed.
The land designated for this project is valued at £20,000.