Cash pledges mean Dons have half total required for Kingsford community hub

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The Dons have secured more than half of the £10 million needed to deliver a community sports hub and training academy as part of the proposed Kingsford development.

Aberdeen FC announced today that pledges from private individuals mean work could start immediately on the plans, should planning permission be granted by councillors in October.

North-east businessmen Mike Loggie, Bert McIntosh and Dave Cormack, alongside several board members and other members of the business community, have confirmed their intention to provide more than half of the £10m required to build the community sports hub and training academy.

Mr Cormack, a multi-millionaire software entrepreneur and Dons board member, has pledged £1m from his family trust, The Cormack Foundation.

He has confirmed that this donation is ring-fenced for the delivery of the community facilities.

Mr Cormack said: “My wife Fiona and I have been blessed financially and we are pleased to be able to play a role in delivering an exciting legacy for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire at Kingsford.

“It’s important to stress that the funds from our Foundation are being gifted to the AFC Community Trust.

“They are only available for facilities which will benefit the wider community and not linked in any way to my own investment in Aberdeen Football Club.”

As well as providing a dedicated base for the AFC Community Trust, the community sports facilities and training academy proposed for Kingsford include outdoor, floodlit 3G pitches, outdoor sports and indoor spaces for a variety of community-based sporting and recreational activities.

Mr Cormack added: “The benefits of these new facilities for the professional team are well documented. The community aspects are equally important in terms of supporting youth football across the region where many clubs are woefully short of pitches and facilities.”

If the club is granted planning consent in October, they will set about securing the remaining funds required for this initial phase.

Once that is complete, they will begin fundraising efforts for the stadium phase of the development – but the sale of Pittodrie will contribute to this.

The No to Kingsford group believes the application does not have an adequate transport strategy and breaches planning policy.