Inspectors on standby to pass Tynecastle for Hearts-Partick game
City of Edinburgh Council will make safety officers available throughout Friday, Saturday and Sunday should Hearts need a last-minute inspection'¨of their new stand for the '¨Ladbrokes Premiership match against Partick Thistle.
Builders are working through the night tonight and will work overtime until the end of the week in the hope of finishing the new-look Tynecastle Park.
Building standards officials visited the site on Monday but a number of issues prevented them signing off a safety certificate for the £12 million main stand. They will return for another inspection today and again later in the week if required.
There are still seats to be installed at the Roseburn end of the new stand and, although most of the cladding has been fitted, signage and the concourse need attention. Other areas of the structure must also be completed but the council are keen to do everything to help Hearts.
It is understood safety inspectors will be on hand throughout the weekend if needed to assess whether the stand has passed all the legal checks.
Provided work is done to meet the required regulations, the council are prepared to issue a general safety certificate at the very last minute to allow Hearts to host Partick Thistle at 3pm on Sunday.
The council’s culture & communities convener, Cllr Donald Wilson, said: “Public safety is quite rightly our primary concern, as it is for Hearts, and the Council is doing all it can to help the club reopen Tynecastle in time for Sunday’s match. Further inspections are planned for today and later in the week, if required.”
Should time run out on Hearts, chairwoman Ann Budge will ask the Scottish Professional Football League to postpone Sunday’s match. Hearts have been in constant dialogue with the SPFL and will keep communication lines open throughout the week.
All concerned remain hopeful work will be completed in time and a temporary certificate granted to allow the match to go ahead as planned. Hearts have already contacted Partick to brief them on the situation and are desperate to avoid a postponement.
So far, Partick have been told that the match will go ahead and are preparing as such. The Glasgow club enjoy a cordial relationship with their Gorgie counterparts and it is believed they would not be unduly difficult to deal with over a possible postponement.
Thousands of fans would be inconvenienced if the stand did not open given tickets have been sold, and many supporters have already made travel arrangements.
The decision will be a late one and builders on the project are working frantically to finish different jobs in the new stand, which was originally due to open in September. That date was put back to 5 November but, with work still not completed, a further delay was announced and a new opening date set for this Sunday.
Hearts are doing everything