Public asked to vote for Forres outdoor gym design
Design options are on show now for the new Forres outdoor gym and the community is being asked to vote for their favourite one.
The £72,000 project is being installed on the Forres Academy Campus next to the long jump pit, opposite Sanquhar Loch car park.
Eight designs have been drawn up following consultation with young people in Forres and the wider community.
Forres Community Sports Hub and Forres Community Council, with support from Moray Council, want residents to vote to choose the best one.
Voting is open until 12pm on Friday June 30 and can be done in person at Forres Library or by clicking here.
Once built, the Forres outdoor gym will be a free-to-use facility the whole community including Forres Academy pupils can use.
It will be a lasting legacy to the work of Forres Academy teacher, Ann Rossiter, who spearheaded the campaign for the new Forres outdoor gym through her involvement with Forres Community Sports Hub.
As Chair of Forres Community Sports Hub, Ann started the business plan and research for the facility when she was sport coordinator at Forres Academy.
Ann is soon to retire from her role as principal teacher of home economics and is eager to see the Forres outdoor gym in place.
Ann said: “There is the potential for 600 secondary students to be using the gym on a weekly basis, so there is much that can be gained.
“I hope students studying leadership skills in the curriculum will be willing to show the older members of our community how to use it.
“What a brilliant way to build positive relationships.”
Ann added: “Grateful thanks must be given to the conscientious team from Moray Council who have supported and guided us through this process.
“We need to encourage the Forres community to engage in the public consultation to choose the final design.”
Forres Community Sports Hub has been working in conjunction with Forres Community Council to secure funding for the project.
The lion’s share of the £72,000 raised came from the Berry Burn Community Fund, which committed £45,000.
A further £4000 was donated through the Money for Moray participatory budgeting process, topping up the £23,000 which had already been raised.
Ann thanked Kathleen Robertson, leader of Moray Council, for helping her to propel the scheme when Kathleen was in her previous role as chair of Forres Community Council.
Ann added: “It was partnership working with Moray Council that has allowed this community project to come to fruition.
“The council will oversee maintenance and inspections of the facility which makes this a possibility for the community.”
Cllr Robertson said: “I’m delighted to get to this stage with the Forres outdoor gym.
“Forres has always been a vibrant, active community, but it has been difficult for some people to get back into doing things after Covid.
“Hopefully this outdoor gym will allow them to get back to meeting up with other people again and it becomes a social activity that is easily accessible to all.”
Chair of the Council’s Economic, Development & Infrastructure Services Committee, Cllr Marc Macrae, said: “Moray Council is always looking at how we can support communities to improve health and wellbeing by becoming more independent and financially self-sufficient.
“The Forres outdoor gym is a good example of what can be done when we get behind communities and help them to drive forward plans that improve people’s health in more ways than one.”
Forres councillor Draeyk Van Der Horn said: “This outdoor gym will be beneficial to many people. Being active in nature has many advantages compared with doing the same activity in the gym. Furthermore, outdoor exercise can help ward off seasonal affective disorder (SAD), depression and anxiety because sunshine naturally increases serotonin, a hormone that affects your mood. It’s just the tonic that many of us need and I hope it will be well-used and enjoyed.”
Forres councillor Paul McBain said: “I think I speak for the whole of Forres when I say thanks to the hard work and efforts of Ann Rossiter, and to Kathleen Robertson for supporting her. This will be a wonderful addition to the town.”
Forres councillor Scott Lawrence said: “This excellent facility will provide Forres folk of all ages the chance to do regular exercise at anytime that suits them with no membership fees. An outdoor Gym is a welcome addition to other facilities and groups in the area that encourage physical and mental wellbeing and I look forward to using this facility along with the rest of the community.”
Click here to sign up to vote for one of the designs.