Aberdeenshire's newest sports facility opens this week following the completion of the £55m Inverurie Community Campus and a special guest came along to help celebrate.
Double Commonwealth champion, European and World Medallist and triple Olympic swimmer Hannah Miley had the first swim in the new pool ahead of the public opening on Wednesday (Sept 30).
As a young swimmer growing up in the area, Hannah was very familiar with the old pool next door, so she dived at the chance to see its replacement.
She said: "I joined the swimming club aged five or six and I couldn't wait until I turned eight, so I could go to a public or fun session with my friends. We would turn up with our £1 coin to pay to get in.
“It’s great to come back and see what clubs now have to train in, this new facility will be highly beneficial for them, great for local athletes and for the community.
“There’s lots of space, high ceilings and you can come and feel comfortable getting an activity done, getting an endorphin boost, and it’s really important for the community to have that outlet, to be able to do what they feel is right for them.
“I hope the range and quality of facilities on offer here will also encourage people to try something they maybe haven’t tried before.”
Community Leisure Officer Gordon Young has worked at the old pool for 27 years and Hannah’s visit brought back lots of memories of her training there.
“I’ve watched her achievements over the years proudly and it’s hard to fathom the level of dedication Hannah has, but she’s proof of what you can achieve if you work hard enough,” he said.
Gordon and his team are excited to welcome customers into the new facility.
“It’s a complete transformation from what we had and all the staff are keen to welcome swimmers old and new to the centre, putting a lot of effort in to make sure their visit is pleasurable and safe and we hope they’ll come back again and again.”
The extensive community sports and leisure facilities on offer at the campus once all works are complete will include a six-lane swimming pool, a multi-use games area and two all-weather pitches.
They will be valued spaces for pupils and residents alike, run by Live Life Aberdeenshire on behalf of Aberdeenshire Council.
The impressive new campus will become home to Inverurie Academy following the October holiday break.
The Aberdeenshire Council project is being delivered through developers hub North Scotland and built by Robertson. Construction activities now switch to the demolition of the old facilities and the completion of the external works, including the all-weather pitches.
The pool will open from Wednesday, September 30 with access for local swimming clubs and the public. Full opening of all the sports and community facilities at the campus will be confirmed in due course.
You can book a swim in the new pool, but slots will initially be limited, and demand is expected to be high. The capacity of the pool for public swimming will gradually be increased throughout October.
Swimming lessons across Aberdeenshire continue to be suspended until such time as these can be offered safely.
Live Life Aberdeenshire has been able to reopen many of its sports and leisure facilities with customer safety in mind, including pools, fitness rooms and sports courts.
You can find out more about what's open and how to book here: Book a Sports Session