Tennis ace Judy Murray has congratulated those behind a planned £15 million revamp of a North-east sports centre after it took a big step forward.
The management trust of Garioch Sports Centre in Inverurie asked Aberdeenshire Council for permission to carry out a major refurbishment of the facility that has now been granted by councillors.
After hearing the news, Judy, who is a successful tennis coach in her own right and mother of professional players Andy and Jamie Murray, told the trust in a message: “Fabulous! Great great news.
“Well done all of you.
“We can (soon) discuss how my foundation can work with you to build a tennis workforce within the local community so there’s lots of tennis activity in schools and parks in advance of the centre’s opening.”
Graeme Hay, director of Garioch Sports Centre, said: “We’re delighted that Aberdeenshire Council have approved our planning application.
“This allows us to progress external funding applications straight away. Our ambitions remain the same and we’re committed to providing much needed sports and community facilities for Inverurie and beyond.
“The hard work really begins now.”
As part of the scheme, an all-weather stadium modelled on Kilmarnock’s Rugby Park, will be constructed – with Highland League side Inverurie Locos tipped to play there.
The stadium would be available for all levels of rugby and football seven days a week.
Overall, the refurbished centre will occupy 25 acres and will also have an all-weather outdoor pitch, and various grass facilities catering for a range of sports and a state-of-the-art tennis arena.
In February, the Evening Express reported how the trust had a disagreement with the council as it believed leaders had previously guaranteed the project £8m funding – a claim denied by the local authority.
It is understood the trust and the council are now on good terms and the trust is hoping to raise the £15m needed through a mixture of sporting bodies and community donations.
Members of Garioch area committee approved the plans at a meeting yesterday after considering a report which said there had been eight formal objections.
In the report, the council’s planning officer Bruce Strachan said: “The scheme is an attractive and contemporary development befitting a facility which aims to be one of the biggest amenities in Scotland, the home of Loco Works FC and a complementary facility to other projects in Inverurie, such as the new Inverurie Campus and gymnastics clubs.”