Scotland’s £33m world-class sporting centre opens

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A new world class £33 million national sporting performance centre is to open on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

Known as Oriam, the sports performance centre will become the home of Scottish football and rugby as well as offer facilities for basketball, handball, squash and racketball.

Hearts players Callum Paterson and John Souttar view the new Oriam indoor sports pitch sports. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Hearts players Callum Paterson and John Souttar view the new Oriam indoor sports pitch sports. Picture: Ian Rutherford

The concept for the national centre, situated on Heriot-Watt’s University’s campus, was taken from the findings of the McLeish review into Scottish football.

The Scottish Government contributed £24 million to the project, with sportscotland, Heriot-Watt University and Edinburgh City Council providing the remaining £9 million.

The development’s main features include Europe’s biggest indoor football facility, and high-performance sports provisions such as a hydrotherapy pool and a strength and conditioning suite.

Stewart Regan, Scottish Football Association chief executive, said: “Oriam is a facility the whole of Scottish sport - and, indeed, the whole of the country - should be immensely proud of.

Picture: Ian Rutherford

Picture: Ian Rutherford

“What started as a bold ambition is now a magnificent reality, one that is befitting of its status as the crown jewel of the Scottish FA’s performance strategy.”

READ MORE: Oriam research will benefit Scots athletes and public alike

Oriam will have five outdoor grass football pitches and two outdoor grass rugby pitches, as well as a floodlit, all-weather playing surface. Other indoor facilities include a sports hall, a fitness centre, rehab facilities and a classroom.

Aileen Campbell, Minister for Public Health and Sport, said: “It’s tremendous news that this fantastic facility has been finished on time and on budget.This is another world class sporting facility for Scotland that will benefit both our elite athletes and grass roots competitors.”

The building’s completion comes as Scottish athletes return from the Rio Olympics with a record-equalling medal haul.

The centre, which opens on 29 August, will host an event for Scotland’s Olympians and

Last week senior Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser and Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie criticised plans for a homecoming event at the centre next month to celebrate the success of Scotland’s Olympians and Paralympians, which will accommodate only 400 people and to be put out on social media.

They called for a public parade such as those in Edinburgh and Glasgow in 2012 when thousands turned out in Edinburgh and Glasgow to welcome Scottish athletes such as double cycling gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy and gold-winning Paralympic cyclist Neil Fachie.