£43m demolition and revamp plans for Meadowbank Stadium unveiled

Meadowbank_StadiumMeadowbank Stadium is to be demolished and rebuilt under plans to replace the 50-year-old facility.

Built for Edinburgh’s 1970 Commonwealth Games, councillors now want to replace it with a new £43 million sports centre. If funding is not approved, the centre faces permanent closure.

It will include a new outdoor athletics track with seating for 500, a 3G synthetic sports or grass pitch in the centre for football and rugby, an outdoor throws area and another outdoor 3G pitch.

Inside will be a 60m six lane track with jumps, a sports hall with eight badminton courts and 500 seats plus bleachers, another hall with four badminton courts and 500 seats and a gymnastics hall, gym, studios, changing rooms, cafe and meetings rooms.

Land on either side of the centre will be sold off to fund the new stadium and SportScotland are expected to contribute around £7m to the project.

The City of Edinburgh Council is still up to £19.8 million short and may have to borrow money. The project will be considered as part of the council’s budget at the start of February.

Should these current plans be agreed, and funding secured, the new Meadowbank could be ready by 2018. If the decision is taken not to proceed, options for a planned withdrawal of service at Meadowbank over the forthcoming five years will be identified.

Cllr Richard Lewis said: “For almost 50 years now, Meadowbank has nurtured sporting participation at all levels - from those taking part for recreational and health benefits to those training for success and medals on a Scottish and international stage. It feels right that after Scotland’s successful Commonwealth Games 2014, we kick off 2015 by considering the future of the country’s very first Games venue.

“The feasibility study requested by the council in February 2014 has now been completed and before progressing further, a decision from council is required as to whether it can meet the £11.3m to £19.8m funding shortfall currently projected.

“Over half a million users visit Meadowbank every year and it is a much-loved city sports facility, but we will need to consider how we can source funding for a project of this scale given the financial pressures the council faces.”

June Peebles, interim chief executive of Edinburgh Leisure, said: “Edinburgh Leisure is delighted to be working with the council on this exciting project which could create a new Meadowbank for the city, creating an inspiring and welcoming venue that supports even more people to get active, stay active and achieve more.”

A report on potential costs and scoping for a replacement venue go before the corporate policy and strategy committee next week before being passed on to the budget considerations at the start of February.

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