We wish to place on record our belief in the importance of preserving and improving the Edinburgh Academical Football Club (Accies) home and facilities at Raeburn Place in Stockbridge in Edinburgh.
Over the years Accies has contributed more than 10 per cent of all Scottish international caps since hosting the first international match between Scotland and England in 1871.
The club is the home of and operates the Edinburgh BATS rugby club, which delivers to and supports rugby at four high schools and 16 primary schools in north Edinburgh. Last year BATS delivered 750 hours of rugby to 1,560 young people.
With recent research showing that inacitivity causes as many premature deaths as smoking, surely this youth work is something we should cherish rather than discard.
Through little fault of the club itself, the facilites at Raeburn Place consist of temporary units, hired at an onerous cost now met by Accies. This is simply not sustainable. The plans drawn up bring in rent from a maximum of nine shops, and will give Accies the best facilities in Scotland, run on a sustainable basis, in addition to ensuring the preservation of a valuable greenfield space.
With the inclusion of a rugby museum it will make Raeburn Place an attractive destination for families and others to visit. The retail element will enhance and complement Stockbridge’s existing offering.
These are carefully drawn-up, high quality proposals.
We hope that Edinburgh Accies will be encouraged to stay in their historic home, and that Scotland can begin to close the gap with England in terms of rugby facilities and funding.
DAVID sOLE, aNDY iRVINE, sCOTT Hastings, Roger Baird, Rob Wainwright, David Callam, Cameron Glasgow, David Milne, Stuart Moffat, John Frame, Jim Calder, Marcus Di Rollo, John Allan, Greig Laidlaw, Allan Jacobsen, Nick Deluca, Geoff Cross, David Denton, Ross Ford, Tom Brown, Tim Visser, Ben cairns, Ross Rennie