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Scaled-back plans for north-east sports centre submitted to planners

The sports trust has said the expanded centre will transform the area.
The sports trust has said the expanded centre will transform the area.

Scaled-back proposals for the expansion of a north-east sports centre have been submitted to planners.

The development of the new Garioch Sports Centre had originally included tennis courts, a multi-use sports pitch and an all-weather football pitch for Inverurie Loco Works FC, and an expanded gym.

However, after plans for Aberdeenshire Council to buy the Locos’ existing ground at Harlaw Park fell through, the funding for the 3G pitch is no longer available.

The Garioch Sports Trust has also said it has been unable to secure enough grant funding to extend the current building, but insists its plans will still transform the area.

A report, which has been submitted in support of the latest application, which would cost between £3m and £5m states: “The plans have gone through a number of iterations and while some of the previous elements have now been removed, the focus on the tennis facility and improved sports centre and health facilities remains an exciting development for Inverurie.”

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The sports centre has received the backing of the Judy Murray Foundation because of its commitment to rejuvenating tennis facilities in the area.

In addition to the sporting amenities which will be included in the expanded building, there will be an early learning centre for youngsters.

Due to its reduced size, the facility is no longer being classed as a major development, so a decision will be taken by planning officers.

Kevin Bonarius, chief operating officer for the facility, said: “Garioch Sports Centre has this week submitted a planning application to Aberdeenshire Council to extend its existing popular community facilities at Strathburn Park.

“The award-winning sports trust currently delivers multi sports and health and wellbeing programmes to a wide range of users from across the Garioch catchment area and into the Shire and is also a popular venue hosting high profile competitions and sporting events.

“These aspirational extension plans aim to deliver a state of the art three-court indoor tennis facility, a new entrance and a reception area with adjoining cafe, and a new gym and fitness studios, along with the development of a standalone early learning and childcare centre which will combine outdoor and indoor learning.

“This unique project will bring the spotlight to the market town of Inverurie, and will bring benefits to the area’s expanding population and the whole of Aberdeenshire.”

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