Funding secured for new bridge at Maryculter

A WELL-USED footbridge which was washed away during flooding on December 23 will be replaced with funding help from Aberdeenshire Council’s top-up budget.

Members of the Kincardine and Mearns area committee heard on Tuesday how the footbridge, which is the only safe access point to the Maryculter Recreation Trust Football Pitch and Community Hall, was washed away in the heavy rains which caused so much damage just before Christmas. The adjoining field was also flooded and filed with silt, sand and debris including tree trunks.

The chairman of Maryculter Hall Users Committee told the committee that the recreation grounds were gifted to the community in 1953. The present hall was opened in 1998 and is well used by the community at Maryculter, including playgroups, guides, pilates, yoga, football clubs and the Community Council. It is also an official polling station.

Councillors agreed to contribute £4000 to the costs of machinery hire and materials to replace the bridge, which is expected to cost a total of at least £8000.

All works are being carried out by volunteers, with some 25 people coming forward already to offer their help.

Over 50 volunteers turned out just after Christmas to help with the initial clear up, bringing shovels and wheelbarrows to help clear debris. The User Committee Chairman told the meeting: “Fundraising events will be held in our area in the near future to raise the rest of the money. But it is safe to say community spirit is alive and well in our area.”

Councillor Ian Mollison praised the community spirit of the people in the Marykirk area: “What I saw taking place with everyone coming down to help was an inspiration. I salute everyone who took part and have no hesitation in approving this money being given.”

Cllr Alison Evison said: “The community has really come together and done all they can. The least we can do is give this money towards the costs.”