THE new sports centre planned in Moray has been awarded £250,000 by Sportscotland.
This week’s announcement of the grant brings the project a step closer to the point where spades will go into the ground in the Linkwood area of south Elgin. The team behind the Moray Sports Centre, as it will be known, say they are now hopeful that ‘phase one’ will begin during 2018.
It is also thought that the approval shown by Sportscotland will make it easier to access other sources of money.
Kathryn Evans, the chief executive of the project, welcomed the grant and added: "Presently the fundraising prospects across the UK are lessening almost on a daily basis, and therefore it’s great to have support from the national agency for sport.
"It gives other organisations the confidence to support us and opens the door to other funds. This credibility gives us a better chance to provide great opportunities to the people of Moray."
Phase one, which will cost about £9 million, will involve a large multi-use sports hall, an indoor gym, an exercise bike area, plus a wellbeing zone for activities such as yoga and pilates.
It will also include a restaurant plus a soft-play area for young children.
Further phases, which will cost an additional £3 million, will include items such as an outdoor gym and a sensory garden.
A spokesman for Sportscotland said: "Our investment in facilities across the country underlines our commitment to helping build a world-class sport system for all, by providing more people with the opportunity to participate in sport and physical activity.
"We will continue to work with our partners to ensure the Moray Sports Centre project moves closer to becoming a reality over the coming months."