The nerve-centre for a popular north-east Highland games will be rebuilt in time for this year’s event after the team behind it secured vital funding.
Aberdeenshire Council has approved an £80,000 package to rebuild the Oldmeldrum Pleasure Park’s sport’s pavilion.
The structure was the focal point for the Oldmeldrum Sports and Highland Games, which are held every June, before it was demolished last year.
Last night the chairman of the Oldmeldrum Sports Committee, Doug Petrie, said he was “absolutely delighted” that the council had approved the funding.
The old timber pavilion – which according to Mr Petrie had been “held together by the paint” – was knocked down after falling into disrepair before the 2014 games.
He said: “This has been on-going for two or three years, we had to make sure we had the funding in place to get the job finished.
“We really want it up before this year’s Oldmeldrum Sports in June. It was an old pavilion, and on the day it was for having guests and giving them a cup of tea, entertaining our sponsors, that sort of thing. It was just done.
“We’re delighted we can get a new facility. It’s a focal point at the games, it is where people meet. Last year we had to do without it and we were at a loss.
“We can also have our committee meetings there and part of the deal was to make it available for other groups. It’s not just going to sit there empty, it will be available for other people’s use.”
The money for the pavilion is coming from the last of the developer obligations given to the council for local infrastructure from Barratt Homes and Taylor Wimpey, which were behind recent housing developments in the town.
The decision to allocate the funding was unanimously approved by councillors earlier this week.
Improvements to disabled access, increased space and a modern kitchen facility are included in the new building.
The committee was granted planning permission for the pavilion last summer.
Work has already begun on the foundations of the site.
The full project cost was estimated at £227,000 and the funding means the group can now move forward with the construction of the structure.