A north-east sports centre with an ambitious expansion plan has reached a new milestone.
Garioch Sports Centre has proposed a £2.5 million extension to create new indoor tennis facilities.
This month it has submitted a first-phase application to Tennis Scotland to secure funding for the project, which will include three indoor courts.
It is thought a planning application will be lodged with Aberdeenshire Council in April to move forward with the proposals, after previous plans submitted were altered.
Chief operating officer at Garioch Sports Centre Kevin Bonarius said: “In the area there’s a serious lack of facilities for tennis.
“It’s an exciting time, it’s a massive milestone.
“If it all goes well, it should be here in 2021.
“We’re looking to raise funds by a number of means, we’ll need a lot of public support.
“We’re going to do a lot of fundraising, and we’re working closely with Aberdeenshire Council.”
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A previous application for the extension was submitted to the local authority, however a second will now be lodged which will be stripped back from the original proposal.
It originally planned for a three-court indoor tennis area, a new all-weather pitch for rugby and football and a further all-weather facility with grass, alongside others, but will now move forward with just the tennis aspect.
Kevin added: “There’s not been tennis in Inverurie for about 25 years.
“I don’t think there’s been a new indoor facility in Scotland in the past 10 years.
“We’re trying to improve that. It’s a very exciting time.”
The team is now working with The Judy Murray Foundation, local tennis clubs and other groups in the area to build up participation in the sport ahead of the tennis centre opening.
Judy, tennis coach and mum of players Andy and Jamie Murray, has thrown her support behind the project, as well as working in partnership with the centre to promote the sport.
The trust behind the centre also has ambitions to extend other areas of the facility, alongside the addition of a purpose-built state-of-the-art gym and wellness class studio.
Its tennis centre has also been designed in a way that it can also be added to at a later date.
In addition, it is also looking to develop its childcare facilities.
A statement by the centre said: “We are currently working with the Scottish Government and Aberdeenshire Council with the view to extend our provision from 600 hours to 1140 hours.
“We continue to develop our fantastic facility here and your support moving forward is going to be vital in making this happen.”