Significant Investment Planned for Stonehaven Sports and Leisure

By Jane Cruickshank / March 10, 2021
leisure centre, swings and open air pool

AT last night’s meeting of Stonehaven and District Community Council, Live Life Aberdeenshire, LLA, announced their intention to improve Stonehaven’s sport and leisure facilities.

Members heard from service manager Tim Stephen who said Aberdeenshire Council were, ”looking to invest a significant capital sum into improving or replacing facilities,” in Stonehaven.

And as funding will come from what is known as participatory budgeting, a collaberative process is on the cards – LLA want Stonehaven residents to have their say on their aspirations for the town.

Mr Stephen said: ”It is a really exciting opportunity to work with stakeholders in Stonehaven.”

Community Councillors ask for a wide review

David Lawman asked that the examination of facilities should include a review of all the town’s facilities, not just those managed by LLA – to avoid making decisions in isolation. And Ian Hunt asked that LLA consider a long-term plan for dialogue with the community.

Jim Stephen got straight to one of the items on his wish list. He said he wanted to see the refurbishment of the leisure centre changing rooms.

Chairman welcomes news

LLA head of service Avril Nicol was also taking part in the Skype meeting. She said one of the first aims would be an audit of Stonehaven’s current amenities.

She added: ”There is some funding for some sports and leisure improvment and development. But the town should have a long term plan for its aspirations over a 10 to 20 year period.

To which chairman Bill Watson said: ”That is music to everyone’s ears.”

Participation opens the door to funding

After the meeting, an LLA spokesperson said the collaborative approach is designed to maximise the resources available to meet the future needs and demands of the local community.

He said The funding allocated to the participatory budgeting process is in addition to recent, and soon to be delivered, LLA investment at the town’s leisure centre and Open Air Swimming Pool.

Live Life Aberdeenshire is overseen by Aberdeenshire Council’s Communities Committee.

Chair of the Communities Committee, Anne Stirling, said: “Participatory Budgeting can offer communities a real say in how money is spent for the benefit of their local area and I’m pleased we’re able to offer this opportunity in Stonehaven.

“In due course local communities will be asked for their views on what sport, leisure and community facilities in the area should look like in future and we are very keen to get as many people’s views as possible throughout this process.

Committee vice-chair Judy Whyte said: “Although Stonehaven has a wide range of sports, leisure and community facilities at present, many of them are ageing and we need to look to the future to ensure limited resources are maximised for the benefit of the town and ensure the local community has a key role in determining what that looks like.

“This is good news for Stonehaven and surrounding communities, and I hope we can include as many local views as possible as part of this process.”

Live Life Aberdeenshire is currently identifying local groups and organisations to participate in the process, which is expected to run over the summer, with a community vote on proposals expected to take place in August or September.

Projects arising from the process are expected to enter the design stage at the end of 2021.

Nadine Wilde - March 15, 2021

I agree with the above comments. The gymnastics facilities are outdated and the stonehaven children are from the beginning at a significant disadvantage from their peers. A better equip facility would provide the children with a common baseline and a safer set up for advanced skills progression. Also feel there is a need to have a sports facility layout that allows for more sports to be played at anytime. Eg badminton at the same time as other hall users – an extra sports hall or a dance studio. Finally the swimming pool needs the provision of a pool for the use of beginner swimmers. This would allow for mor lane use of the main pool and please don’t close the main pool in the summer when the outdoor pool is open.

Jane Cruickshank - March 14, 2021

Hi Maureen, sharing views on The Bellman is very much appreciated – but please do remember that comments on The Bellman count for nothing in terms of the public consultation about to take place. Please do encourage all the gymnastics parents to keep an eye on The Bellman for updates and information on the consultation – and to attend/participate!! There clearly is a lot of support for a gymnastics facility, so it would be a shame for all these voices not to be heard.

Maureen - March 14, 2021

Please could you consider a gymnastics facility. The current set up by Stonehaven gymnastics club in the gym hall presents a lot of inconvenience for the gymnast, teachers and parents.

bellmannews - March 12, 2021

Dear Lobke – and all earlier people leaving comments – thank you for showing such interest in this story. Now please keep an eye on The Bellman for information on the public consultation / engagement process that will start soon. It is only by doing that that your voice is truly heard – and it is only by participating that you will have any hope of achieving the outcome you want.

Lobke Starr - March 11, 2021

This is great news for Stonehaven and surrounding area and much needed. I would like to mirror the comments of other people that a dedicated Gymnastics area is much needed in the South of Aberdeenshire. Stonehaven Gymnastics club is the only club operating in the South of the Shire with many more clubs operating near Inverurie and further North of the shire with much better facilities.

The current facilities are outdated and are limiting the ability of the club to grow. It would be wonderful if more children (and adults) of all ages and abilities could be introduced to the sport in the South of Aberdeenshire and if the current members would have the ability to develop their skills.

J L - March 11, 2021

Please could the provision for gymnastics be considered. If it would be possible to have our own space for gymnastics and storage for equipment that would be fantastic. The club is so well run but struggles with the amount of equipment being set out and put away. A purpose built gymnastic building would be great!

Lisa Low - March 11, 2021

I think Stonehaven is in need for a whole new sports facility! Definitely is one of the oldest sport centres that is becoming very run down in all areas not just the swimming pool. Stonehaven Gymnastics Club are currently in the process of fundraising to get a premises, considering they spend a lot of time currently within the leisure centre would be great to go into collaboration with live life Aberdeenshire and have a purpose build gymnastics centre!!

Personally I think if you get things updated, provide more you’ll get back more from the community, with memberships and people wanting to use the facility. I know personally I currently use pure gym in Aberdeen for fitness because Stonehaven leisure centre has nothing to offer me!!

Lorna Eastaugh - March 11, 2021

I am delighted to hear that there is going to be funding for the expansion and upgrading of the Leisure Centre in Stonehaven. My daughter currently attends Stonehaven Gymnastics Club. They train in the large gym hall where they have to erect and dismantle large and heavy equipment at every session. This happens 4 times per week. The club are fundraising and applying for grants to enable them to build their own premises. This is a lengthy process and meanwhile, numerous young talented gymnasts are missing out on having a purpose built gym hall. A collaboration with the council to develop a large dedicated space, would be extremely beneficial for the club and many other users. I would suggest that Stonehaven Gymnastics Club is approached to see if there could be mutual benefits.

Jayne MacNab - March 11, 2021

It would be great if there could be a dedicated facilities for a Gymnastics club. Both of my children currently attend Stonehaven Gymnastics club which is held in the leisure centre in Stonehaven. At the moment they are only able to teach girls (due to the time they have in the hall space that they use), but the club would really love to have the opportunity to run classes for not only girls, but boys, adults and disabled people. They are in the process of becoming a charity organisation and having a dedicated space would be excellent for the community as I know that there is a waiting list and I’m sure there are other boys etc who would be interested in being part of a club too.

Sally Lunn - March 11, 2021

Great news about the leisure centre. Also my daughter goes to the gymnastics club there. The club is currently fundraising for premises and new equipment it would be great if the council could get behind the club.

Sarah-Louise Hay - March 11, 2021

We are in the process of trying to get and fundraiser for our own purpose built gymnastics facility as we have majorly outgrown the leisure centre and want to expand therefore we can open our doors and offer places for a lot more people in the Stonehaven area and local community. This will not only encourage as well as promote healthy living and being active offer classes for all ages from pre-school to adults but additionally will also be able to offer job prospects for people in the local community.

We would be interested in joining a collaboration and would appreciate any assistance you may be able to offer us.

If you require any additional information please do not hesitate to contact me

Kate Matthews - March 11, 2021

Fantastic news about planned investment in local sport leisure and community facilities in Stonehaven. Stonehaven Gymnastics Club has operated out of the leisure centre for many years and investment in the facilities that they use would hugely benefit the large and growing community of gymnasts in Stonehaven.

Lyndsey-Jane Strachan - March 11, 2021

My daughter currently trains with Stonehaven Gymnastics Club who share the Leisure Centre facilities with a number of other clubs.Unfortunately because the facilities are shared, equipment has to be unloaded and packed away every session which cuts into training time. If there were dedicated facilities the club could train uninterrupted more frequently, which all the girls would love because they work so hard. The club cannot offer spaces because they share the facilities currently and if they did have their own dedicated space the club could expand and offer more to upcoming youngsters, this improving the health and wellbeing of more young people in Stonehaven and the surrounding area.

Matthew Armstrong-Williams - March 11, 2021

I would welcome the addition of a dedicated gymnastics area

Ceryl Armstrong-Williams - March 11, 2021

This is a welcomed read and great to hear of the much needed investment for the Stonehaven Leisure Centre. What would be fantastic is if a dedicated Gymnastics area could be included please

Linda Harris - March 10, 2021

Long overdue, when we look at what facilities other areas have in Aberdeenshire, Inverurie seems to be the place to live nowadays, they seem to have everything… we have been lacking in all sports facilities in Stonehaven for a long time, and hopefully money will be spent on the outdoor ppl also instead of people leaving money in their will to it when they are have died, or waiting for a wee insurance coming out that they want to do a gesture of good will for the outdoor pool .

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