Sporting hub for Moray village hall

A SMALL rural community hall is set to become a major sporting hub for Moray.

A £52,000 refurbishment of Miltonduff Hall has transformed the 80-year-old facility.

It will now be promoted as a base for individuals and groups to take part in a range of sports, among them mountain biking and orienteering.

A special open day next weekend will showcase the revamped facility and offer taster sessions.

The bulk of the cash for the project came from the Scottish Government’s LEADER programme for rural communities.

The local community raised £8,000 towards the cost through its own efforts and funding also came from the Rothes Wind Farm. Local architect and resident Colin Souter supervised the project, providing in-kind support to the effort.

The event on Saturday, September 3, will take the form of a family fun day from noon to 4.30pm, with ‘Pathways to Sport’ sessions.

John McMulkin, Active Schools co-ordinator with Moray Council, said: “The open day will showcase some of the activities which can be based from the hall, including mountain bike skills sessions led by Outf!t Moray, organised rides led by the Moray Mountain Bike Club, orienteering for all ages led by the Moravian Orienteering Club, and a Boccia (disabled bowling) session led by Active Schools.”

Activities will take place throughout the afternoon on a drop-in basis and are free.

There will be a zumba demonstration, and the chance to take part in bowling, archery, mountain biking, orienteering and much more.

Hall committee member Angela Hyland said: “This is also about letting everyone know what is available within the hall on a weekly basis. We also want to show what the refurbished hall has to offer.

“Our hall will be 80 years old in July next year so this is quite a good time to upgrade it.

“The hall floor was in great need of repair and the toilets were quite dated. We were looking at reducing our electricity consumption and these ideas, along with the sports hub, started the ball rolling.”

Hall chairman Kenneth Milne (left) with local mountain biker Moray Goodfellow

The work that has been done includes:

•Refurbished floor in the main hall and new lighting.

•New electric heaters and lighting in the playschool room.

•New kitchen flooring, lighting and heating.

•New toilet and shower rooms.

The works will be completed with Wifi connection and a cycle rack outside.

All internal paintwork was done thanks to the National Lottery ‘Awards for All’.

“We now hope to gain further funding from another source to do external painting and provide some new playground furniture,” added Mrs Hyland.

Contractors used in the project were from the local and Elgin area.

Aside from its new sporting use, the hall is used daily by playschool, twice weekly sessions of zumba, bowling and badminton.

It is also used for a range of community functions, including parties, dances and wedding receptions.

“Now with the upgrades we hope to attract even more users,” said Mrs Hyland, “especially in sport situtated in the areas near to the hall such as Monaughty Woods.

“Our open day is to highlight the quality of our hall and the opportunities it can provide for social, educational and recreational activities. We want the generous local community to see our lovely hall now that it has had a facelift.”

The open day will start with a piper, followed by the cutting of the ribbon and speech from hall chairman Kenneth Milne.

A BBQ and refreshments will be on offer during the day.

Entertainment will be provided by Moray Concert Brass and Elgin Explorer Scouts will assist in the running of the event.

The day will end with a ceilidh with North-east band Jiggery Pokery from 8pm.