Royal seal of approval for Banchory Sports Village

The Duchess of Rothesay tours the new sports village. Picture: Aberdeenshire Council
The Duchess of Rothesay tours the new sports village. Picture: Aberdeenshire Council

The Duchess of Rothesay officially opened Banchory Sports Village on Tuesday.

She unveiled a plaque following a tour, during which she met some of the groups who use the facility.

The doors to the £8.5 million centre opened to the community in August last year.

Guests on Tuesday included community fundraisers, councillors, former councillors, and partners in the projects.

A number were presented to the Duchess during her tour and had the opportunity to share their own experiences.

As part of the event, she visited a parent and child gym class, an older people’s badminton group, a cardiac rehabilitation session and watched pool users making the most of the facilities.

On arrival, she was cheered by a large group of pupils from two local primary schools.

The Royal visitor was greeted by the Lord Lieutenant of Kincardineshire, Carol Kinghorn, and Aberdeenshire Provost Bill Howatson, who said: “It was a pleasure to show her around this dynamic and popular community space, which has been many years in the planning.

“The sports village reflects our wider commitment to providing state-of-the-art sporting facilities under the umbrella of Live Life Aberdeenshire, and in partnership with the community.

“I am pleased to say that she was very complimentary of how well the facility has already integrated into the community and she was particularly happy to see services being offered which promote active older age.

“One of our council priorities is to ensure people have the chance to be active, for their mental and physical health. The range of opportunities that the sports village delivers and the range of groups that the team are already working with is testament to that.”

Keith Mair, chair of the Banchory Sports Village Trust, said: “This is an attractive, spacious and comprehensive indoor sports facility which has been enthusiastically received by the public in and around Banchory.

“The council trusted us to raise an exceptionally large cash contribution to enhance the project which we did with support from across the whole community, but particularly from a small group of very generous private donors.

“We trusted the council team and contractors to build a quality building with a high standard of finish that Banchory can be proud of, and they did.”

Banchory Sports Village was funded by Aberdeenshire Council with support from North Banchory Company as well as the Banchory Sports Village Trust who were responsible for

£700,000 of community fundraising.

CEO of North Banchory Company, David Smart, said: “As a company we are extremely proud to have played a part in bringing this long-awaited project to fruition.

“We have spent over £1.5 million in developing this project with the council and the site, which is development land worth circa £800,000, has been leased for no charge.

“By working together, we have ensured that the communities of Banchory and beyond now have a modern sporting facility to be proud of.”

Since the centre opened, 70-80,000 people have been through the doors, with around 25 active user groups.