Failure to build £41m stadium '˜will set sport in Edinburgh back years'

Failure to secure a new Meadowbank Stadium could set sport in Edinburgh back 'several years', the leader of the city council has warned.

Edinburgh City Council is committed to rebuilding Meadowbank Stadium by 2022. Picture: contributed

Plans for the £41 million venue will be determined by the council on Friday and officers have recommended that the proposals are given the green light.

Facilities at the development would also include an outdoor athletics track with seating for 500 spectators, a 3G synthetic sports pitch in the centre of the athletics track, an additional synthetic pitch, an indoor 60m six-lane athletics track with jumps facilities and an outdoor throws area.

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The proposals for the overhaul also feature an eight badminton court sports hall with permanent and moveable seating, a four badminton court sports hall with permanent seating, a gymnastics hall, a gym, studios, a cafe and offices.

The plans to replace the current stadium, which was closed last year and which officers have labelled as not fit for purpose, are subject to funding bids including a £5m request to sportscotland.

The existing stadium was built in 1968 for the city to host the 1970 Commonwealth Games.

Council leader Adam McVey said: “Hopefully our bid into sportscotland will be approved. We’ve been engaging in robust and meaningful engagement with the community and wider city on the rest of the development site.

“If we don’t rebuild Meadowbank Stadium, if there’s anything that happens that stops that being able to progress, this city will lose potentially £5m in additional support from sportscotland.

“It will set sport back in this city a number of years because it will take us a lot longer to get to the point of a rebuilt sports facility.

“All the sports clubs, everyone who relies on that facility and wants it to be back in use in a high-quality modern facility, will be hugely disappointed. They will have to look elsewhere to try and sustain the sport that they want to engage in.”

The council is committed to rebuilding Meadowbank by 2022, and it is dependent on new homes and commercial buildings being constructed to make the development financially viable.

The second part of the development, which is recommended for approval in principle by officers at Friday’s meeting, will include residential homes, student accommodation, hotel and commercial uses.

Mr McVey added: “It’s hugely important that we secure both parts.”