Preferred site agreed for Peterhead community campus

Aberdeenshire councillors supported a preferred site option for a brand new community campus in Peterhead yesterday, agreeing with feedback from the community that Kinmundy should be the home of new facilities including a 1400-capacity secondary school and 600-capacity primary school.

The scope of the project also includes ensuring modern, fit-for-purpose leisure and cultural facilities are created for the town. A number of these aspects are likely to be delivered on existing sites, either through the refurbishment of existing facilities or the building of new ones. This will include a swimming pool, two gymnasiums, two sports halls, a fitness suite and two dance studios as well as a theatre, exhibition space and consideration of best use of the current public library and museum.

A total of £71 million has been allocated from Aberdeenshire Council’s Capital Plan to support the project. While the full programme cannot be delivered within the current funding identified, the prospect of further funding from the Scottish Futures Trust is being explored, along with a phased approach, as funding becomes available.

This extensive project is a key aspect of the Peterhead Masterplan, which also includes new early years facilities, the potential to replace Peterhead Central School on the site of the existing secondary, a new care home and the potential for new affordable housing as well as industrial units.

A full business case will now be put together alongside further engagement planned for the new school session with parents, pupils, staff and the wider community. The extensive primary school provision intended for the Kinmundy site could replace Dales Park and Meethill, as well as Anna Ritchie School.

Cllr Gillian Owen, who is chair of the education and children’s services committee, put forward a motion in support of the proposals put to Full Council.

She said: “Our objective is to provide ‘joined up’ services that best meet the needs of pupils and communities in the context of the council’s and Scottish Government requirements.

“Through this unique project, we hope to deliver a programme of work which meets the short, medium and long-term needs and aspirations of Peterhead and the surrounding communities, in line with the council’s priorities. Current thinking allows us to deliver crucial, impressive new school facilities at the same time as retaining and redeveloping many community facilities within the town centre.”

Cllr Norman Smith, who is chair of Buchan area committee, added: “There is likely to be a phased approach to this project, prioritising needs but following one comprehensive vision which will deliver a range of benefits for the whole community of Peterhead. We are looking forward to considering a full business plan in more detail.”

The proposals received cross-party support, including an amendment by Cllr Stephen Smith highlighting that the council reaffirms its commitment to the delivery of both the Peterhead Community Campus and the Peterhead Masterplan.

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