Locals ‘pitch in’ on provision

Portlethen Academy
Portlethen Academy

Plans to replace the synthetic pitch at Portlethen Academy with a multi-use surface have raised concerns.

The new 2G pitch will allow a wide range of sports, including hockey - but local footballers are unhappy over the provision and there are calls for a second community pitch.

Local councillor Alison Evison said: “I am supportive of appropriate action to ensure that a wide range of sports, including so-called minority sports, can be offered at Portlethen Academy.

“However, I am concerned that these benefits are at the expense of local community sport. This is equally important, as we seek to increase overall participation rates.

“There needs to be an acknowledgement from the council that Portlethen actually needs a second pitch for community use, designed in full consultation with local groups and the community council.”

John Harding, head of lifelong learning and leisure, said: “We recognise that there is strong support for change from football clubs, however changing this pitch to a different all-weather surface would be harmful to the future of the hockey club, who would not be able to continue. This replacement will benefit all clubs in the area as no one will lose out. It is important to note that the new surface will be suitable for recreational football and training.

“This is a decision which officers were in a position to make, and thereafter we have met with sport governing bodies, community council meetings and held discussions with local councillors.”