New indoor training facility at Clickimin Leisure Complex
A new indoor training facility at Clickimin Leisure Complex is being proposed in association with the new Anderson High School project.
The building, which would be suitable for football and rugby among other sports, is designed to enable Shetland Recreational Trust (SRT) to provide extra space for school physical education lessons and local sportsmen and sportswomen out of school hours.
The facility would be a steel truss design with a tensile membrane covering, allowing natural light to permeate inside. It would have a synthetic playing surface of 60m x 40m, divisible into three smaller areas with lifting dividers.
Local residents and representatives from sporting organisations were shown plans for the 12.5m high structure, which would be located south of the existing Clickimin Leisure Complex, at a meeting on Monday night.
The facility is expected to cost between £1.4m and £1.7m, and would be part-funded by Shetland Islands Council. A funding application has also been submitted to sportscotland.
SRT general manager James Johnston said: “We have been working very closely with the SIC to ensure we can provide the requisite space for the needs of pupils at the new Anderson High School.
“At the same time we need to continue to provide the very best sporting facilities we can to the general public and user groups.
“So, again working with the council, we have devised what we feel is the best solution in the form of a 60 x 40 metre facility.
“As well as benefiting pupils during the day, it would free up space within the existing leisure complex in the evenings and at weekends for busy groups such as those offering gymnastics.”
Mr Johnston added: “We already have shared use of leisure facilities at our centres in the rural areas of Shetland, so we know this is a model that works well. Shared use also means there is no unnecessary duplication of sporting facilities.”
Councillor George Smith, who chairs the Shetland Sporting Partnership Strategic Group, said: “This will be a tremendous addition to the sporting facilities of Shetland and will provide much needed pitch space under cover, to help our sportspeople develop their skills and enjoyment of their sport.”
Eric Graham, chairman of the Shetland Football Partnership, said: “All sectors of the football community are thrilled and excited at the prospect of such a tremendous project being proposed and are delighted to support SRT fully in its vision to further enhance the sporting opportunities in Shetland.
“It will allow for greater balance between summer and winter football with its size being adaptable to suit different group numbers and structures.
“The environment this will create will be perfect for the training and playing of football, but we believe even more importantly for increased levels of participation and enjoyment as well as retaining even more of the young people in our sport.”
Mr Johnston said SRT hoped to be able to submit a planning application for the building by the end of November.