May 252017
 

With thanks to Clare Scott, Communications Consultant, CJS Communication & Marketing.

A long trip south proved more than worthwhile for a group of north-east wrestlers, with several among their number ascending all the way to the medallists’ podium.

Wrestlers from Oldmeldrum-based V Wrestling Academy won a number of medals at the recent English Junior Wrestling Championships at Thames Valley Athletic Centre in Eton.

11-year-old Colby Taylor struck gold in the 41k category. His fellow club members Leon Etko and Erin Mortimer added to V Wrestling’s medal haul taking silver and bronze in the 37k and 67k categories respectively.

There was further success for V Wrestling Academy in the Veterans’ Championships, which took place over the same weekend. Club member Keith Mortimer returned to Aberdeenshire with a silver medal in the 90k category.

Head coach Vio Etko accompanied the team along with his fellow coach Nicolae Cojocaru.

He said:

“This was a long trip to make for some of our younger wrestlers but they certainly rose to the occasion.

“As well as showing commitment and focus while competing, they all demonstrated great team spirit and camaraderie. The medals are the icing on the cake of a really great developmental experience.”

Leon Etko (12) repeated his silver medal success with a second placing in the 35k category of the recent International Tournament Calarasi Cup in Moldova.

Leon’s achievement in Moldova replicates that of his father and coach Vio Etko, who won the silver medal 25 years prior in the same event.

V Wrestling Academy is based at ETKO Sports Academy in Oldmeldrum. Head coach Vio Etko is a seven-time British wrestling champion and the current Commonwealth Games bronze medal holder. He is also a former winner of Aberdeenshire Sport Council’s Coach of the Year award.

Further information on V Wrestling Academy’s coaching programmes is available by calling ETKO Sports Academy on 01651 873876.

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May 192017
 

Duncan Sinclair, ASV CEO

With thanks to Yvette Rayner, PR Account Manager, Frasermedia.

A leading sports facility is forecast to bring over £2million to Aberdeen this year, as it welcomes high-profile national and international events. Aberdeen Sports Village (ASV), which is based on the city’s Linksfield Road, is holding four national and international competitions in 2017, which are predicted to bring the significant economic boost

Each year, ASV holds over 200 events at the prestigious venue, from local festivals to international competitions, by working closely with community leaders and national sporting bodies.

The first of this year’s prominent events, the Scottish National Age Groups Swimming Championships (SNAGS), took place at ASV at the end of March.

The event, one of the largest under 18 swimming event in the UK, brought an estimated £1million of economic benefit to the city. 1000 of the best swimmers in their age group competed, from over 90 clubs across the Scotland. For many, the prestigious event offered the chance to gain consideration times for the Commonwealth Youth Games, taking place in the Bahamas in July.

Netball Europe, which came to Aberdeen between 11-14 May, saw eight national and international teams compete in a series of matches, with spectator seats sold out for most matches. The four-day international under 21 championship featured 100 competitors from England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, as well as an open challenge section, introducing teams from Bermuda, Gibraltar, Israel and The Republic of Ireland.

ASV won the right to host Netball Europe after a sustained campaign by Aberdeen Sports Village and Netball Scotland, supported by VisitAberdeenshire.

In June, the British Masters and Senior Age Group Championships  will be hosted at ASV’s Aquatics Centre, featuring swimmers from the across the UK. Over 800 competitors will take advantage of ASV’s impressive 50m pool, competing in a series of races, medleys and relays.

The busy swimming season culminates with the Scottish National Open Swimming Championship between 27 June and 2 July, showcasing the best of Scottish swimming, with over 300 current and future champions competing at ASV.

Duncan Sinclair, ASV CEO, said:

“ASV has been able to attract this year’s national and international competitions by working closely with VisitAberdeenshire, Scottish Swimming and Netball Scotland. VisitAberdeenshire has calculated the swimming and netball events alone will bring an estimated £2million in financial benefit to Aberdeen, proving that leisure and tourism activities are a vital  part of our local economy.

“The Aquatics Centre is now classed as an official Performance Centre by Scottish Swimming, as ASV can confidently deliver large, exciting swimming events.

“ASV is ideally placed to host high-profile competitions, and we are proud to welcome teams and their supporters from across the world to our outstanding facility.”

ASV boasts a state-of-the-art gym, sports hall, indoor and outdoor athletics facilities, indoor football pitch, and a range of exercise classes, as well as the Aquatics Centre, which includes an Olympic standard 50m pool and 25m diving pool.

For more information, contact a member of the team at ASV on 01224 438900.

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May 122017
 

With thanks to Esther Green, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR

Disengaged young people living in Aberdeen are being supported to reach their potential through a range of award-winning urban sports and culture programmes that have received a four figure boost from Aberdeen Asset Management’s Charitable Foundation.

Transition Extreme’s renowned youth projects combine its extreme sports and arts offering with essential skills and offer a spring board for disengaged and disadvantaged young people to move their lives onwards in a positive direction.

The donation from the Aberdeen Charity Committee of the global finance management company will support Transition Extreme in delivering its youth and community programmes like its Alternative, Outreach and Extreme Arts Academies.

The youth charity provides coaching in activities like BMX biking, skating, climbing wall, high ropes and art and design and adds in valuable life skills training, which helps increase confidence and motivation among young people who have become disengaged from traditional forms of education.

One of its longest running programmes, the Alternative Academy, works with 15-18 year olds that have become disconnected with mainstream education, training or employment. Working with agencies including social work, police and education, the Academy is designed to provide supports coaching which supports physical and mental health, complemented by soft skills workshops where employers provide support with essential skills like how to prepare for an interview, CV writing, applying for a job and fitting into a team.

Sam Begg (pictured above), fundraising manager for Transition Extreme said:

“Aberdeen Asset Management’s kind donation will help our youth work team deliver vital work and programmes tailored towards helping  disadvantaged and disengaged youngsters make positive life transitions.

“Our facility has a cool dynamic and buzz that appeals to young people who feel comfortable about coming here. As well as the sports side which is fun, we help deliver soft skills which helps towards future employability. People learn in different ways, not just sitting at a desk, and it’s encouraging to have young people come here and gain new skills. We practice what we preach as 25% of our workforce has joined us from these academies.”

Claire Drummond, head of charitable giving at Aberdeen Asset Management said:

“Transition Extreme is a well-known Aberdeen centre which offers a whole range of urban sports and is a real focus for the youth of the city.

“The programmes delivered by its Youth Work Teams are helping to build up self-belief and confidence among young people and offer an important part in the process towards helping them into further education, training or work.

“The support from our Aberdeen Charity Committee will help continue the good work of investing in positive life transitions for young people of Aberdeen.”

The Aberdeen Asset Charitable Foundation was established in 2012 to formalise and develop the Group’s charitable giving globally. The Foundation seeks partnerships with smaller charities around the world, where funds can be seen to have a meaningful and measurable impact and the firm encourages its employees to use their time and skills to support its charitable projects.

The main focus of the Foundation is around emerging markets and local communities, reflecting the desire to give back to those areas which are a key strategic focus of the business and to build on the historic pattern of giving to communities in which Aberdeen employees live and work. For more information visit http://www.aberdeen-asset.co.uk/aam.nsf/foundation/home

Transition Extreme is located at Aberdeen Beachfront and  its facilities are open to the public. As well as a range of training programmes for young people, it runs outreach  projects in Aberdeen communities.

More information is available from its website http://www.transition-extreme.com

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May 122017
 

With thanks to Ian McLaren, PR account manager, Innes Associates.

Massed pipe bands at Aboyne Highland Games

One of Aberdeenshire’s leading traditional events is seeking the public’s input as it prepares to shine a spotlight on a century and a half of its history.

The organisers of Aboyne Highland Games are calling on the public to share their memories and photographs of the iconic Royal Deeside event as it prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary later this year.

All of the contributions will be included in a special commemorative memory book that will be on display at this summer’s event. For visitors who wish to share their games memories on the day itself, boards will be set up to allow written reminiscences.

An extensive written and pictorial archive documenting the event’s history is held by the Aboyne Highland Games. However, the organising committee is keen to hear personal memories and see still or moving images of the games from those who have attended over the decades.

Aboyne Highland Games has become a highlight of the Deeside events calendar since its founding in 1867. It has been held annually on the town’s green for the past 150 years, with the only exception being during both world wars. This year’s event takes place on Saturday, 05 August and is once again expected to welcome up to 10,000 visitors.

The inaugural Aboyne Highland Games was held on Saturday, 31 August 1867 following just a month of planning and was well attended. The Aberdeen Journal of Wednesday, 04 September 1867 noted that:

“When the time arrived for beginning the competition, several thousands of spectators, of all classes, and all out for a holiday, surrounded the large enclosure on the muir.”

Today, the games is held on the first Saturday in August and features a packed programme of 95 traditional highland events, including solo and massed piping, highland dancing, light and heavy athletics and fiddle competitions. A popular feature is the 6.8-mile hill race that follows part of the Fungle Road and circles the base of Craigendinnie. With total combined prize fund of over £13,000 on offer, Aboyne Highland Games attracts some of the country’s leading pipers, dancers and athletes. 

After a near 40-year absence, one of the events that featured in the programme of the first games is being staged to mark the event’s milestone anniversary. Pole vaulting will be included in the Saturday afternoon programme for the first time since 1978. Once a staple of highland games events throughout Scotland, the discipline is now only contested at a handful of games each year.

Alistair Grant, chairman of Aboyne Highland Games, said:

“Aboyne Highland Games has been an important and much loved fixture of the Deeside calendar for a century and a half. We know it has played an important part of many people’s lives and are keen to hear from those with memories of the event, either as spectators, participants or involved in its organisation.

“Our minute books contain extensive written records of the evolution of the games, from the initial meeting on Saturday, 27 July 1867 where the idea of holding a highland games in Aboyne was first discussed, through to the present time. Although factual, these do not capture the people’s story of Aboyne Highland Games, which is vital for our memory book.

“Reaching our 150th anniversary is an important milestone in the history of the games. As we look back with great fondness and celebrate the history, heritage and culture of the local area, we also look to the future. To welcoming new faces annually on the first Saturday in August who can join us in making history and helping shape the future of this important Deeside event.”

The deadline for submitting photographs and memories is Thursday, 01 June and these can be e-mailed to secretary@aboynegames.com. Further information regarding sending photographs by post is available on the Aboyne Highland Games Facebook page.

Founded in 1867, Aboyne Highland Games is a traditional Scottish highland games held annually on the first Saturday in August.

The Aberdeenshire event, held under the patronage of Granville Gordon, the 13th Marquis of Huntly, attracts crowds of up to 10,000 people each year. Featuring a programme of traditional highland games events, including highland dancing, tossing the caber, piping and fiddle competitions, the event on the town’s green attracts visitors from around the world and makes an important contribution to the local Deeside economy.

Further information on Aboyne Highland Games can be found at www.aboynegames.com.

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May 052017
 

With thanks to Yvette Rayner, PR Account Manager, Frasermedia.

Aberdeen’s world-class sports venue has partnered with national governing body Netball Scotland and VisitAberdeenshire to win the right to host an international netball competition in May, which is expected to bring almost £200,000 into the area.

Aberdeen Sports Village (ASV), which is based in the city’s Linksfield Road, will host Netball Europe, which involves eight national teams, from 11-14th May 2017.

The event is coming to Aberdeen for the third time, with the event having sold out in previous years.

The four-day international Under 21 championship will feature England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, as well as four developing nations Bermuda, Gibraltar, Israel and The Republic of Ireland, competing in the open challenge section.  

Netball Europe will come to Aberdeen in 2017 after a sustained campaign by Aberdeen Sports Village and Netball Scotland, supported by VisitAberdeenshire.

Netball Scotland CEO, Claire Nelson, said:

“We are extremely excited to be back in Aberdeen for the Under 21 Netball Europe Championships 2017 at one of the best facilities in Scotland.

“As we reach the business end of the season, this is a huge event for all of the home nations as this will be our final competition before the Under 21 World Cup in July this year. The players have committed to an intense training programme, both on and off the court, to ensure we have the capability to showcase the sport at international level.”

CEO of ASV, Duncan Sinclair, said:

“It is a superb achievement to bring Netball Europe to Aberdeen. We have worked hard to promote Aberdeen Sports Village as the best venue in Scotland to hold the event. We hosted the event in 2013 and 2015 and it was very popular and sold out quickly.

“There is a huge appetite in Aberdeen for international events and we will work closely with VisitAberdeenshire to attract more such prestigious events to the city.  The netball community in the North East is consistently growing and is very active, and I’m sure they will embrace the opportunity to watch international netball on their doorstep and become part of the event.

“With over 100 participants, Netball Europe is expected to bring a significant economical benefit of almost £200,000 to the area. It is a real honour to welcome the eight national teams to Aberdeen, and we are looking forward to some exciting games. 

“In 2015, the event sold out with more than 300 tickets per match, and we expect to match that success in 2017.”

Jenni Fraser, business development director of VisitAberdeenshire, said:

“We are  pleased that we have  been able to help bring Netball Europe to Aberdeen and put the city and the wider region on the international sporting map.

“Players, coaches, officials and spectators who will visit Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire in May will see that the region offers not only world-class sports facilities, but high quality hotels, bars and restaurants, interesting cultural attractions and beautiful scenery.  This is exactly the type of event that we want to encourage in the city because of the economic spin-off that it brings.”

Tickets for Netball Europe are priced at £5.50 (adult) and £3.30 (concession) for the Under 21 competition and £3.30 (adult) and £2.00 (concession) for the Open/Invitational challenge. Ticket are available now, from the Aberdeen Box Office, or online at http://bit.ly/2powc1b.

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Mar 102017
 

With thanks to Eoin Smith, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR.

The University of Aberdeen rowed to victory on Saturday (March 4) at the 22nd annual Aberdeen Boat Race, which is sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management.
Breaking rival Robert Gordon University’s five-year winning streak, the University of Aberdeen triumphed in a time of 7 minutes 03.8 seconds, winning by 4 lengths.

The Robert Gordon University crew followed close behind, with a time of 7 minutes 16.3 seconds.

The University of Aberdeen also celebrated success in the alumni and second crew races – marking the first ever clean sweep in the event’s history.

Hundreds of spectators braved the weather to line the banks of the city’s River Dee to cheer on the teams as the old opponents battled it out on the river. Due to water levels, the 3.5km course was shortened by 300m.

Fiona Bell (21), president of Aberdeen University Boat Club, said,

“It feels amazing to have brought the Aberdeen Boat Race trophy back to the University of Aberdeen. I think we’re all still in shock a little; we set out to break RGU’s five-year hold over the title and we did it! I’m incredibly proud of my team and their performance today. We’ve been training hard in daylight and darkness, so it’s brilliant that all our hard work has paid off.

“Erin and the RGU crew were formidable opponents, and made things very difficult for us out on the water. It was a fantastic race to row in, and I hope those watching from the banks enjoyed it too. I’d also like to thank Aberdeen Asset Management for their continued support – without their backing the Aberdeen Boat Race couldn’t happen.”

Erin Wyness (20), president of Aberdeen University Boat Club, added,

“Congratulations to all of the University of Aberdeen crew on their win today. It was a hard race with both crews on form beforehand, so it would have been hard to call before we set off. Even though we didn’t win this year, I’m still very proud of all the effort the crew has put in over the last few months, and it doesn’t take away from our five-year streak. We’ll be back next year!

“The whole day has been brilliant both for the rowers and spectators on the shore – from the alumni and second crew races right up until the title race – and I’d like to thank Aberdeen Asset Management for their amazing continued support of this historic event.”

The alumni boat race was won by the University of Aberdeen in a time of 8 minutes 02.5 seconds. The universities’ second crew boat race was also won by the University of Aberdeen in a time of 2 minutes 36.6 seconds. Original 106fm clinched the media challenge title in a time of 1 minute 30.1 seconds over a 300m course.

Martin Gilbert, chief executive of sponsor Aberdeen Asset Management, commented,

“On behalf of all at Aberdeen Asset Management, I would like to congratulate the winning crew from the University of Aberdeen. I would also like to recognise the effort of the Robert Gordon University Boat Club rowers, who put in a sterling effort on the water. Both teams should be rightfully proud of their achievements today.

“The university experience is about more than classroom learning, and the boat clubs are a real testament to that. Being founded in Aberdeen, we are very proud to continue to support the Aberdeen Boat Race in what is our 17th year.”

Follow the Aberdeen Boat Race on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aamboatrace, on Twitter @2017boatrace or Instagram @aamboatrace

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Mar 022017
 

With thanks to Eoin Smith, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR.

After months of secrecy and planning, the final crews are announced on Tuesday, 21 February for the 22nd annual Aberdeen Boat Race. The 18 successful students have travelled from around the world to study at the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University – from A Coruña in Spain to Perth in Australia.

They will come together this Saturday, March 4, for the challenging 3.5km race along the River Dee, which is sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management.

Fiona Bell, president of Aberdeen University Boat Club (AUBC), and Robert Gordon University Boat Club (RGU) president Erin Wyness have handpicked their teams after monitoring the rowers’ technical skill and performance under pressure over the past few months.

Rowing for the University of Aberdeen are:

Alex Zabala (18) from A Coruña, Spain; Fiona Bell (21) from Kilmacolm; Lachlan Cowie (21) from North Kessock; Henry Pettinger-Harte (21) from Chester; Alex Afaquah (20) from Glasgow; Rosie Kelly (21) from Belfast; Anna-Sophie Tierre (19) from Aukrug, Germany; and Isla Ferguson (19) from Edinburgh. The cox is Alex Ralston (20) from Perth, Australia.

Representing Robert Gordon University are:

Erin Wyness (20), Holly Reid (23), Andrew Main (20), Gregor Pittendreigh (20) and Josh Quinn (23) from Aberdeen; Michael Brady (21) from Livingston; Ruth Wright (26) from Turriff; and Katherine Lawrie (19) from Stonehaven. The cox is Kathryn Duthie (21) from Dunfermline.

Last year’s race was the most exciting yet, with both crews breaking the course record. Jostling for first position along the length of the course, RGUBC just clinched the title for the fifth consecutive year by only a quarter of a length. After coming so close, AUBC is determined to make 2017 the year they bring the trophy back to their boat house.

As the Aberdeen Boat Race enters its 22nd year, it is once again supported by global investment group, Aberdeen Asset Management.

Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Aberdeen, comments:

“Since its inception, the Aberdeen Boat Race has become a real highlight in the city’s sporting calendar. Over the past few months, the crews have faced dark, early mornings and intense training sessions in rain and shine to prepare for the race ahead of them, and the time is almost here to put that training into practice.

“Aberdeen Asset Management remains dedicated to nurturing young talent, and we look forward to celebrating both crews’ achievements on March 4, regardless of who lifts the trophy.”

Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Principal of RGU, says:

“Every year the crews from both universities show great skill and determination on the water and this year will be no different. The atmosphere at the finish line is electric and it is always fantastic to see Robert Gordon University students lining the riverbanks alongside the general public. I’m looking forward to another exciting race in March.”

Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, adds:

“Last year’s race was incredibly close, and I know that AUBC has been out on the water training hard this year. The effort that both crews put into the preparations for the Aberdeen Boat Race is commendable, and I’m sure will lead to another exciting race along the River Dee.”

Following the toss for stations at 3.20pm, a number of races will take place in the run up to the title event. The Universities’ Second Crew Race takes place at 4.05pm, while the Alumni Crews take to the water at 4.25pm. The Media Challenge – which will see the Evening Express and Original 106fm take on reigning champions BBC, takes place at 5.15pm before the main Aberdeen Boat Race at 5.30pm.

Follow the Aberdeen Asset Management Universities’ Boat Race on Twitter @2017BoatRace, Facebook www.facebook.com/AAMBoatRace and Instagram @AAMBoatRace.

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Jan 192017
 

With thanks to Charlie Abel.

Joanna Lumley has become the first award recipients of the 2017 Scottish Samurai
awards.

Besides being a well known BAFTA TV award winning actress, former model, author and voice over artist, Joanna has been a great advocate for human rights for Survival International and the Ghurka Justice
Campaign. 

She is also a great supporter of Animal welfare charities such as Compassion in World Farming and Vegetarians International Voice for Animals.

Her recent documentary ‘Joanna Lumley’s Japan’ was a great hit with the Samurai Award’s membership and U.K. audience. 

The Scottish Samurai awards were founded in Aberdeen by Culter resident and international 9th Dan Karate instructor Ronnie Watt OBE, ORS to celebrate those who serve and excel. The award of Great Shogun recognises those who have reached the ultimate achievement in their field.

Joanna Lumley has said she is very proud and very humbled to receive the honour and she is:

“thrilled to be a Scottish Samurai.”

Ronnie Watt is delighted to add Joanna to the ever-growing list of Samurai.

Some of the previous award winners include Sean Connery, Billy Connolly, Alex Salmond, Aberdeen City Council, Sir Ian Wood, Lord Charles Bruce, Compton Ross, Tommy Dreelan and the current and former Japanese Consul Generals of Japan in Edinburgh.

Each year the Scottish Samurai awards grow and continues to encourage and recognise people from different walks of life for their positive contributions to society and those around them.

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Dec 232016
 

With thanks to Yvette Rayner, PR Account Manager, Frasermedia.

An Aberdeen sports facility is urging kids to don their trainers over the festive break, following a report on child weight and obesity.
Aberdeen Sports Village (ASV), based in the city’s Linksfield Road, has a series of festive camps available for children from P1 – S3, to encourage youngsters to stay active and healthy during the Christmas break.

A new report from NHS Scotland, showed that almost a quarter of children starting school in Scotland are overweight or obese, sparking fears of long-term physical and mental health issues, including diabetes, heart disease and depression.

The body mass index of 92% of all 2015/16 primary one children was analysed, and results indicated that one in ten children starting school was already at risk of obesity, with a further 12% at risk of being overweight. The statistics, collected from all NHS boards in Scotland, also showed that NHS Grampian region had more overweight P1s than health boards in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

ASV, which was established in 2009, aims to provide world class sporting opportunities for everyone in the community, and the facility has a number of festive events during December and January, to keep Aberdonians of all ages fit and healthy.

ASV boasts a state-of-the-art gym, sports halls, indoor and outdoor athletics facilities, a range of exercise classes and indoor football pitches, as well as the Aquatics Centre, which includes an Olympic standard 50m pool and 25m diving pool.  

Two festive camps will take place, for children from P1 – S3, to give youngsters the chance to run off some steam after Christmas. The camps, the first from 27th – 30th December and the second a healthy start to 2017 from 3rd – 6th January, will ensure children go back to school feeling ready for the new academic session.

The ASV festive camps aim to give children the chance to try out a range of sports, from athletics to volleyball, as well as introducing some Christmas cheer with games of Quidditch and the famous ASV Aqua Run, an inflatable obstacle course in ASV’s 50m pool.

ASV CEO Duncan Sinclair, said:

“As adults we know we should exercise more, but for youngsters, particularly in winter when it is cold and dark outside, it’s all too easy to stay inside on the Xbox or watching YouTube.

“The Christmas holidays can be a long time for parents and so our festive camps will help the youngsters stay busy and entertained. Children from 4-15 will enjoy running around trying out new sports, and meeting new friends. Lifetime habits are learnt at a young age, so it is never too early for parents to introduce a wide variety of sports to their children.”

To book ASV festive camps, visit www.aberdeensportsvillage.com or call 01224 438900.

Aberdeen Sports Village (ASV):

ASV is the premier sports facility in the North East of Scotland and home to an array of first class sporting facilities and events.

ASV aims to deliver high quality sports services and opportunities for all at the home of sport in the North East. The facility, which opened in 2009, is the result of a joint venture by funding partners the University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen City Council and sportscotland.

For more information please visit www.aberdeensportsvillage.com

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Nov 222016
 

martinford-kintore-crossing-tallWith thanks to Martin Ford.

Aberdeenshire’sDemocratic Independent and Green Group of councillors (DIGG) is arguing the consultation on alternative service delivery models for sport and cultural services agreed at their council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee should form part of the expected wider consultation on budget options due to start later this year.

Aberdeenshire Council has agreed to follow a revised budget setting process for its 2017/18 budget in line with the decision taken at the Council’s budget meeting last February and in accordance with the provisions of the confidence and supply agreement between the DIGG and the Council’s coalition administration.

Draft budget proposals are to be published in November giving time for public consultation and to allow discussion on proposals between the various political groups on the Council ahead of formal budget decision making in February.

Cllr Martin Ford (pictured) said:

“I’m really not keen on the charitable trust proposal for future delivery of sport and cultural services. If it was not for the potential financial benefits – possibly betterment in excess of £1 million per annum – I don’t think the option would be under consideration. As it is, given the financial pressures on the Council and anticipated need for future savings, using a Council-owned charitable trust to deliver sport and cultural services has to be given serious consideration.”

Aberdeenshire Council is expected to have to make significant savings in its revenue budget for 2017/18 and in subsequent years. At this stage, before the Scottish Government grant settlement is known, there is considerable uncertainty about the amount the Council will have to save to balance its budget for next year.

However, based on reasonable assumptions, additional spending cuts or other savingstotalling over £10 million are expected to be required, over and above thesavings already identified in the draft 2017/18 revenue budget published last February.

Cllr Martin Ford said:

“In setting its revenue budget for 2017/18, Aberdeenshire Council is going to have to take a range of decisions driven by the need to save money. Moving to a Council-owned charitable trust to deliver sport and cultural services is one option that could be adopted.

“Deciding what to do to balance the revenue budget means comparing all the potential savings options and trying to identify the least damaging and disruptive way of achieving the spending reductions required. Public consultation on those savings options that would affect the Council’s public services should also allow simultaneous consideration of the different proposals, so their relative acceptability can be gauged.

“Including alternative models for the delivery of sport and cultural services in the Council’s budget consultation process is the logical way to proceed,”

Cllr Paul Johnston said:

“As part of consideration of alternative delivery models for sport and cultural services, I would want the Council to look at options for local control, not just a single Aberdeenshire-wide charitable trust.

“As a group, the DIGG aim to have a range of draft budget proposals ready for the November full council meeting, and will welcome the opportunity to get feedback and comment on these before the Council sets its revenue budget for 2017/18 next February.”

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