The first contract for phase one of Aberdeen Football Club’s £50 million new stadium and training hub has been awarded with other contracts now out to tender to build the first phase of the development.
Yesterday the club celebrated breaking ground on phase one of its ambitious plans for a Community Hub, Professional Training Campus and Youth Development Academy at Kingsford.
Construction of the new facilities got underway when AFC manager, Derek McInnes, AFC Community Trust chief executive, Ally Prockter, and Lord Provost, Barney Crockett put the first spades in the ground.
The first phase of the development will include the construction of the training pavilion, groundsman’s accommodation, three professional training pitches, two 3G pitches and two grass pitches, the latter being mainly for use by Aberdeen Football Club’s Community Trust.
Aberdeen-based McIntosh Plant Hire now has the green light to begin the initial earthworks and ground remediation in preparation for the building works, which are due to commence in October 2018.
The total value of phase one is around £10m and the club has promised to appoint local firms “wherever possible”.
Contracts are due to be agreed in the coming weeks for work packages which include roads and sewers, construction of the pavilion and groundsman’s accommodation, formation of the pitches as well as all electrical, plumbing, heating and ventilation work.
The community sports hub and football training facilities will be completed in Summer 2019.
AFC manager Derek McInnes said: “This is a hugely significant milestone for the club as we embark on building long-awaited, best-in-class training facilities.
“Since I took on the role of manager at AFC I have been campaigning for better facilities so there’s a huge sense of relief and excitement today to see work beginning on-site.
“Dedicated, purpose-built facilities, adjacent to our new stadium, will be a major boost for the players and the coaching staff. They will help us attract and retain talent as well as providing an excellent base for community engagement and footballing excellence in the north of Scotland that will inspire future generations.”
With AFC now the official owner of the 25-hectare site at Kingsford, the club will begin consulting with Westhill and Elrick and Kingswells Community Councils and representatives from local sports groups to discuss the best use of the facilities.
The wider community benefits at the new complex will be delivered by the award-winning Aberdeen FC Community Trust (AFCCT), the club’s official charity partner established in 2014 to provide support and the opportunity to change lives for the better throughout the North-east.
The charity engages with more than 17,000 participants each year across 60 programmes and initiatives, with volunteers from the organisation delivering more than 5,000 hours of free community support in their spare time.
Ally Prockter, Aberdeen FC Community Trust’s chief executive, said: “These purpose-built facilities will help us support more individuals in communities and reach even more participants of all ages and from different walks of life.
“We currently don’t have sufficient space at Pittodrie or any kind of sporting or classroom facilities to call our own, which can make delivering many projects extremely challenging.
“We are extremely excited about moving to this inspirational setting to continue our work and respond to the needs of more individuals in communities, not just in the city but across the entire North-east.”