A petition launched to save sporting facilities in a Mearns town from being sold for development by a council has attracted more than 500 signatures inside a week.
Laurencekirk residents were told the playing fields at the former Mearns Academy were to be sold off.
The pitches are still used by sports clubs at the new academy as there is not enough space at the new community campus.
Aberdeenshire Council’s policy and resources committee said the playing fields could be sold off.
Laurencekirk Development Trust has been working on a proposal to take over the pitches and buy the former academy.
The group has launched a petition to show the public’s support for retaining the facilities.
Trust chairman Mike Robson said: “The petition is a result of the public engagement for shaping Laurencekirk, which showed there was a genuine concern among groups using the pitches that they are going to go.
“We hope that people will sign the petition so we can show the council that the community wants to retain these important facilities.”
He said: “If Mearns Academy wish to have a full range of facilities for all-year sports the community needs to take the initiative and make a strong case on behalf of future generations of local children.
“Nothing will happen without making a strong case for its retention.
“The council did commission architects to produce recommendations for the most efficient use of the old school.
“The result was a plan to create a new business park just what we need in Laurencekirk as the oil and gas sector begins to decline. Despite the success of the existing business park (and the revenue it earns for Aberdeenshire) there is no will to repeat the exercise.”
The petition will be delivered to education and children’s services director Maria Walker, business services director Ritchie Johnson, and Councillor Martin Kitts-Hayes, chairman of the policy and resources committee.
Visit www.change.org to view the petition.