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Fresh designs for north-east sports centre unveiled

An artist impression of the Garioch Sports Centre.
An artist impression of the Garioch Sports Centre.

Fresh new designs for a £15million expansion of a sports centre were unveiled to the public yesterday.

A public hearing on the proposals, which would transform the Garioch Sports Community Centre in Inverurie, was held yesterday.

Scores of people attended the event, which was held throughout the afternoon and into the evening at the centre.

The proposals include a new home stadium for Highland League side Inverurie Locos FC.

The ground would be open for other teams to use and would be a similar surface to that used by Kilmarnock FC so could accommodate football and rugby.

It will also now include three new indoor tennis pitches, after Judy Murray was asked to get involved in the design process.

Following an earlier consultation, the Inverurie Sports Development Project and Lippe Architects and Planners decided to build the extension alongside the building rather than construct another floor which had been the initial design.

This means the children’s play park would be preserved and the car park would have to be re-alligned.

Speaking at yesterday’s event, the centre’s co-general manager Kevin Bonarius said the expansion would transform sport in the area.

He said: “It’s going to be massive, it’s going to completely change what we can do here.

“It’s going to open it up to make it more family-accessible and going to increase the amount of things we can offer.

“Fitness is a lifestyle now, there’s been a year-on-year increase in our membership since we first opened 21 years ago and we’ve reached capacity.”

A number of locals attended the event to look at the plans and also to ask the developers questions about the impact the centre could have in the surrounding area.

One man, who did not want to be named, said he had concerns about the impact on traffic outside his home, on Middlemuir Road.

He said: “The plans are OK, there’s nothing wrong with them, but they don’t consider the tenants of the houses and the re-adjustment of the car park.

“The road’s going to come right up the back of our properties, they’ve said there’s going to be landscaping but that doesn’t help with the noise.

“It’s a one-way system so it doesn’t matter if the car park’s full or empty, there will be cars coming around,” he added.

It is hoped that if it is approved the extension could be open by 2020.

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