Hearts reveal training ground preference as club explain what's required

Hearts have revealed their preference is to remain at the Oriam beyond the current agreement which runs until 2029.

Scotland's sports performance centre on the outskirts of Edinburgh has been the Tynecastle club’s training base since 2004. It has been redeveloped across that time, with both the Scottish FA and Scottish Rugby Union making use of the state-of-the-art facility, which is part of the Heriot-Watt University Campus.

The club's chief executive Andrew McKinlay paid a visit to Aberdeen’s new Cormack Park earlier this season to get a look at the Dons’ new facility. However, the preference for the club would be to remain at the Oriam if they are able to provide the relevant upgrades to cater for Hearts’ need.

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"A lot of the headlines at the time were that we wanted our own training ground,” he said. “I've clarified this with the guys at the Oriam, what I said was we need training facilities that give us what we want and what we need. It's not until 2029 until our lease is up at Oriam. Ideally we would be best if we can stay there.

"There are certain things there that are very, very difficult for us financially to replicate elsewhere. Like the indoor pitch there. Cormack Park is a good example. I know they want an indoor facility but they don't have an indoor facility because of the cost. They are things like that you couldn't replicate. What I've said to Oriam, and we've had discussions with them, if you can give us what we want then that would be my first choice, to stay there. And we're in those discussions to probably work out over the next year or two, can they give us what they want. If they can't then yes, we will have to look at alternatives.”

Exclusivity and pitches

With investment in the women’s team and now the B team playing in the Lowland League, plus the increasing importance of sports science, there is an element of Hearts outgrowing what is currently on offer. But McKinlay suggests what the club are seeking is manageable, although costs and funding are yet to be explored but costs for a brand new facility likely to be “huge”.

"A bit more exclusivity, a few more pitches then we've maybe currently got,” he said. “Partly that is not Oriam's fault but our fault if it's a fault thing. When Hearts originally went to Riccarton, I'm assuming at the time it would have been the men's first team and I don't know what size Hearts' academy was at that point. I know there wasn't a women's team and a girl's academy but I'm assuming that the boy's academy was probably smaller, no sports science, half the number of everything that goes with that.

Hearts are hoping to stay at the Oriam beyond their current agreement. Picture: SNSHearts are hoping to stay at the Oriam beyond their current agreement. Picture: SNS
Hearts are hoping to stay at the Oriam beyond their current agreement. Picture: SNS

"We've almost outgrown what they are able to give us at the moment. But there are other parts of Oriam that could be developed in such a way that it gives us what we would need. A bit more space, a bit more exclusivity.”



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