Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Multimillion plans for Moray sports centre revealed

Councillors will meet again to agree leadership positions on Wednesday.
Councillors will meet again to agree leadership positions on Wednesday.

Multimillion pound plans that could shape Moray’s future sporting stars were revealed last night.

More than 250 Elgin residents of all ages flocked to a public meeting last night to find out more about the plans for their long-awaited sports complex.

Sandy Adam, owner and chairman of Springfield Housing, revealed last month that he had acquired land in Elgin for the future facility and since then rumours have swirled on where it might be and what it could include.

Last night the developer brought the speculation to an end as he announced his plans to build the centre in the south of the town, to the right of the Linkwood distillery.

And as the floor was opened for questions, Mr Adams urged local businesses and groups to get behind the project – like Moray games impresario Leslie Benzies already has.

Mr Benzies – the man behind Grand Theft Auto and president of the Rock Star North computer games firm – has backed the centre, which will otherwise run as a charity receiving grants form various sporting and government bodies.

Mr Adam said: “Mr Benzies runs the Benzies Foundation to encourage sport and fitness within communities, and there’s no better community for him to help than the one he grew up in.

“The most important thing we need though, is public support, in order to convince backers to fund us.

“And the more support we receive, the bigger the centre will be.”

It is hoped that at the very least, construction will have started by 2017.

Residents wasted no time in telling Mr Adam what they felt the sports centre needed to meet the aspirations of the region.

Amateur tennis player Keith Meisner, a contemporary of Andy Murray, submitted a letter which was read out during the meeting.

He warned that unless indoor courts became a feature of the area, it would never produce a Murray.

The letter said: “I grew up playing tennis but had to leave Elgin at the age of 14 to pursue my career as there were no indoor courts to practice on.

“I asked Jamie Murray how much benefit he and his brother received from having indoor courts on their doorstep and he said ‘monstrous’.

“If he and Andy Murray didn’t have local access to those courts they might not even have pursued tennis.

“Had Andy Murray grown up in Elgin, chances are he would not have become Wimbledon champion.”

People in attendance raised topics on all manner of other sporting pursuits.

There was a request from Parkour instructor Tim Pearce to create “a play park for grownups” where the athletic training discipline could be practised.

Elgin City FC chairman Graham Tatters stressed the need to prioritise 3G pitches.

The chairwoman of the Lossie Ladies netball group, Sue Hastie, said that better quality netball courts were badly needed.

She said that though the surfaces the group currently use at high school gyms are new, they “seem like they were put down by blind monkeys”.

The question session concluded with Elgin 12-year-old Jamie Angus raising a request that Mr Adam look into establishing an indoor skating area at the venue.

He said: “It would be pretty cool to build a new skate park, skating is really fun but my friends and I often can’t use the one in town because it always rains.

“It would be better if we had an indoor one.”

The need for better sporting facilities has been highlighted as a pressing concern in Moray for a number of years, and was raised prominently during a sports summit chaired by Mr Lochhead in 2012.

Last night the MSP said: “The best dreams are the ones that come true, and if we all work really hard this will be one of them.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in