£100,000 boost for aquatic centre

Inverurie’s Commonwealth Games gold medalist, Hannah Miley, took a brief break from her training today following news of a major contribution toward the funding of a state of the art aquatic centre in Aberdeen.

Aberdeen transport giant, FirstGroup, today announced it is to provide £100k worth of funding to support the construction of the aquatic centre, the second phase of the Aberdeen Sports Village development. 

The centre will be constructed at the former Linksfield Academy and will include a 50m pool fit for national and international competition.

Hannah Miley said: “I am delighted that the aquatic centre is one step closer thanks to FirstGroup’s funding.  Having such a facility in the north east of Scotland will help develop swimming across the area.  It is great to be involved in such an exciting project.”

Chief Executive of FirstGroup, Tim O’ Toole, and Senior Vice Principal, Stephen Logan, from the University of Aberdeen joined Hannah at the Aberdeen Sports Village today to mark the announcement.

Tim O’Toole said: “The Sports Village is amongst the finest sporting facilities I have seen.  Adding a state of the art aquatic centre will surely earn world class status and further establish Aberdeen as a city of sporting prowess.”

Mr O’Toole explained why First has pledged its support to the construction of an aquatic centre: “Aberdeen is our home.  The city has helped us grow from a small local bus company into the largest transport operator in the UK. 

“Throughout our growth First has developed a strong tradition of supporting the local community – a tradition that I want to continue.  I am pleased therefore that thanks to our funding we will foster a fitter and healthier local community and help develop future north east talent.”

Professor Ian Diamond, Principal of the University of Aberdeen, said: “We have an opportunity to create an aquatic centre which will benefit Aberdeen and its surrounding areas for decades to come so it is essential we deliver high quality facilities.

“The donation from FirstGroup is a great boost for the fundraising initiative and we hope that it will encourage further support from individuals and the business community for this exciting project.

“The University of Aberdeen has a strong tradition of fundraising and has enjoyed excellent support from both individuals and the business community. We are grateful to FirstGroup for this donation and for the company’s continuing support of important projects for Aberdeen.”

The aquatic centre will include:

¨      The only 50m pool north of Stirling, with a dividing boom and part floating floor

¨      A 25m x 16.5 m diving pool with the latest technology in water cushioning systems

¨      Adjustable floor in the diving pool to enable a range of uses

¨      Spectator seating for 600

¨      Full Timing/Video Analysis lab along with a land conditioning area

¨      Health Suite

¨      Bridge connection to Aberdeen Sports Village

The cost of the aquatic centre is currently estimated around £24million with the exact budget to be confirmed on receipt of contractor’s tenders in Spring.  Partners, the University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen City Council and sportscotland have already committed funds amounting to around £20m. 

The University of Aberdeen has also secured a commitment from an anonymous donor of £1million to meet the additional cost for a 10 lane pool, compared to an eight lane pool, if this option is agreed by the project board.

Hannah Miley is a British and Scottish individual medley swimmer. She currently swims for Garioch Amateur Swimming Club. She is the reigning European 400m individual medley champion in both long course and short course formats. She represented Scotland at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, winning a gold medal in the 400 m individual medley.  She also represented Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Olympics in the 200 m and 400 m individual medley swimming events.