Leisure Centre – You are Going to be ‘Blown Away’

By Jane Cruickshank / July 5, 2024
the new grey and black frontage Taken from the Golf Course road

MEMBERS of Stonehaven and District Community Council, SDCC, enjoyed a sneaky peek at the Leisure Centre where refurbishment and extension works are almost complete – and say they are delighted at the transformation.

Speaking at their meeting on Wednesday evening, chair David Lawman said: ”A few of us were fortunate enough to have a look around the place and the initial impression was, ‘wow, it looks great’.

”I think everyone is going to be blown away.”

Over £2 million spend

Much of the work undertaken was as promised in the £1.4 million package that was the winning bid in 2022’s statutory budgeting exercise, though swimming pool windows were dropped from the plans after builders expressed concerns for the loads placed on the remaining structure.

Our community councillors heard Aberdeenshire Council pitched in with further money to enable a ‘revamp’ in the main gym hall and new poolside tiling –

Area manager Tim Stephen said: ”We managed to increase the budget from £1.4 million to £1.8 million with funds from other sources.

”We have tried to make the biggest impact possible.”

And, as the refurbished changing village was always to be funded from a separate budget, the total value of the contract was estimated at £2 million .

Having previously expressed concerns about the value for money offered by the works, SDCC have asked for a breakdown of the total spend.

What’s in a name?

Also joining the meeting was Live Life Aberdeenshire service manager Allan Rae. He said colleagues in marketing had proposed a new name for the new look amenity – the Stonehaven Wellbeing Centre. It was felt this name would reduce barriers preventing some from accessing exercise amenities.

This was not greeted with enthusiasm.

Jim Stephen said: ”I don’t think wellbeing is going to cut it.

”You have a pool, you have a gym. I’m going there because I want to stop eating yum-yums and get fit.”

Steve McQueen said: ” I am so excited to use the facility but for me the name doesn’t work. Your marketing gurus need to work on the fact that you have a pool and you have a gym.

”If I was in a town and I pulled up information and I saw the name wellbeing, I would think that was Yoga and that is not for me.”

It was agreed the name would remain the same.

Same name, new look – and opening soon

Live Life Aberdeenshire hope to ‘get the keys’ to Stonehaven Leisure Centre in the next week – and aim to open to the public on July 22. The swimming pool will remain closed while the open air pool is in operation, meaning a September opening date.