LDP launch bid to obtain facilities

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Laurencekirk Development Trust have launched a bid to acquire the former Mearns Academy site on behalf of the community.

LDP is carrying out a business survey to identify the needs of local firms for a new business park and is currently inviting both existing and new businesses to contact them to discuss this new opportunity.

Secretary of LDP Mike Robson told The Observer: “The town has missed several opportunities to attract commercial and industrial firms and has even lost a number of local businesses usually for this reason.

“As part of the acquisition process the Trust will present a business plan to Aberdeenshire Council to be considered at a meeting of the policy and resources committee in April.

“They have already attracted interest from several quarters and wish to make the wider community aware of this new opportunity for Laurencekirk and The Mearns.”

LDP have also submitted a Capital Asset Transfer application to try and acquire the School Playing Fields.

The plan is for the fields to be used by both community groups and by students at the Mearns Academy Campus.

Mr. Robson said:“There is a raft of reasons to retain the site.

“We owe it to the children and the wider community to step in on behalf of all residents to create a community where health and wellbeing are our priorities.

“The fact that there is no space for development of a similar facility on the new academy site; a growing demand for facilities as well over a 1000 new homes are planned for the school catchment area; the playing field is very accessible to the new academy and its carparks; the new junior football club and archery clubs use it as do the school- for cross country training and it has the potential to provide an athletics venue during the summer and rugby or football pitch in the winter.

“Interest is growing to form an athletics club.

“And of course, if it is sold, a new facility will need to be acquired and developed – at a cost.”

Residents have an opportunity to support the community’s efforts in acquiring both the campus and the playing fields by attending a drop-in event at the new academy on Sunday, February 28, at 10:00 am.

The outcome of this event will result in a second activity day on March 13 when the consultants will present their recommendations to residents.