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Work gets under way on new ski slope
Thursday, 24 June 2004





Work has begun to create the exciting new ski slope and alpine adventure park element of the 2.3 million sports facility at Kaimhill.

The first turf was cut today (Thursday, June 24) by Garthdee Councillor Scott Cassie, who has long campaigned for the site's regeneration.

Today's ceremony marked the start of work on the alpine adventure area - with air jumps and a bump run for more able skiers and snowboarders - and new nursery slope for beginners. This will be laid alongside the reinstated existing slope and tow.

The project recently attracted a grant of 397,883 from sportscotland, Aberdeen City Council has earmarked 1.9 million, and agreement has also been reached with the Robert Gordon University to provide funding for an all-weather pitch. Work is due to begin on July 5 on the pitch, while state-of-the-art changing accommodation and "ski lodge" facilities are now virtually complete.

Completion of the scheme will fulfil the Council's long-standing commitment to restore and enhance sports facilities for the area, where community representatives have lobbied for reinstatement for some years.

With Cllr Cassie at today's ceremony were Brian Woodcock, Aberdeen City Council Corporate Director for Neighbourhood Services North; Alan Jones, from Alan Jones Associates, who are providing project management support; representatives of Briton Engineering Developments Ltd, who are supplying the Snowflex Alpine Adventure Park and new teaching slope; the Lecht Ski Centre, who are refurbishing the existing ski slope; and ERDC Ltd, who are contracted to provide the new artificial football pitch.

RGU, who are funding the new artificial football pitch, were represented by Director of Sports Filippo Antoniazzi and Sports Union President Ben Glasgow. Also taking part were community representatives.

Cllr Cassie said: "This is a fantastic move for the Garthdee community, for Aberdeen and for the North-east of Scotland.

"It will give us a superb sports facility, including one of the best alpine sports centres in the country, and will be the envy of all. This has definitely been worth the long battle."

Cllr Cassie added: "The sports pavilion is now complete and today sees the start of restoring the ski slope and building a new snowboarding facility, together with nursery slopes. A new full-size state-of-the-art floodlit all weather football pitch is to be built for community use."

Cllr Cassie also acknowledged the major contribution made by RGU to sports provision across Garthdee. As well as underwriting the all-weather football pitch, RGU is the key stakeholder in the 10 million sports centre under construction further up Garthdee Road.

He said: "By working together, the Garthdee community, Aberdeen City Council and RGU have provided superb state-of-the-art sporting facilities which must rate as some of the best in the country and will be enjoyed by all.

"It is a great example of partnership working."

Kaimhill Dry Ski Slope has been mothballed since 1996 when Asda built a new superstore nearby at Garthdee. Last year, the Council agreed to reinstate the existing ski slope and poma tow, and to construct a new nursery slope with travellator.

The project board appointed to oversee the development viewed video footage and visited other ski centres before deciding which type would offer the range of facilities considered desirable for Kaimhill.

The surface selected - "Snowflex" - is a synthetic carpet of "virtual snow" manufactured by Briton Engineering, based in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. It can be formed to create bumps, jumps and other slope features and Briton claims it is softer and safer to land on than other synthetic dry slope materials.

Located near the bottom of the existing dry ski slope, the new purpose-built ski lodge and changing rooms house separate facilities for skiing and football. These include administration offices, ski racks for ski hire, first aid, a training room, toilets, showers and changing areas. The facility also has its own car park.

The tendering process for construction of the new artificial pitch has been completed and a contract has been awarded to ERDC Ltd. They will install their "Fieldturf S1", a new generation artificial playing surface with both FIFA and UEFA accreditation already in use at professional football clubs across the World.

If work goes according to schedule, it is hoped that both the ski slope and the pitch will be completed by September 24, when an official launch will be held. The facilities are scheduled to open to the public on October 2.

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