Meadowbank funding options explored

The vision for a new Meadowbank Sports Centre has moved a step closer after the City of Edinburgh Council revealed the funding shortfall has dropped dramatically.

The vision for a new Meadowbank Sports Centre has moved a step closer after the City of Edinburgh Council revealed the funding shortfall has dropped dramatically.

The new figures are revealed in the latest Meadowbank report going to the Council’s Corporate Policy and Strategy Committee next week (Tuesday 29 September).

Back in February a previous report estimated the project cost was £43m with a funding shortfall of between £11.3m and £19.8m.

These figures have now been revised to £42m with a shortfall of £6.8m due to:

  • Increasing land values
  • A modified and re-costed design
  • No significant issues from the intrusive ground survey

Council leader Andrew Burns said: “This new figure is really encouraging and gives everyone hope that a new Meadowbank fit for the 21st Century can now become a reality.

“Obviously there is still a long way to go with a project of this scale but I want to assure everyone that the Council is committed to continue our exciting work on redeveloping Meadowbank.

“We will continue to explore all funding options to find the required £6.8m so the existing facility can be demolished and transformed into a brand new sports complex that would serve the sporting needs of the residents of Edinburgh and the east of Scotland.”

Funding options and architectural design concepts for replacing Meadowbank, which was originally built for Edinburgh’s 1970 Commonwealth Games, have been developed with input from relevant governing bodies of sport.

The plans would see the existing site transformed into a brand new sports centre that would serve the sporting needs of the local community as well as the surrounding region with facilities for physical activity, health and wellbeing.

A new Meadowbank would include:

  • An outdoor athletics track with seating for 500
  • An indoor 60m six lane athletics track with jumps area
  • An outdoor throws area
  • A 3G synthetic sports pitch or grass pitch in the centre of the outdoor athletics track for football, rugby and other pitch sports
  • An additional outdoor 3G synthetic sports pitch
  • An eight badminton court sports hall with 500 permanent seats plus bleachers (the same size as the current Meadowbank Hall 1)
  • A four badminton court sports hall with 500 permanent seats(the same size as the current Meadowbank Hall 2)
  • A gymnastics hall, gym, studios, changing facilities, café, meeting rooms.

The funding proposals estimate the overall cost of building a new Meadowbank facility as £42m. It is envisaged that this will be achieved through funding from SportScotland of £7m; revenue savings to the Council from closing the facilities during construction; prudential borrowing based on forecasts for net income and through the sale of surplus land at Meadowbank. This would leave funding required to be identified by the Council of £6.8m.

The committee will be asked to begin procurement for a project team for a new Meadowbank. If the funding shortfall is addressed and the team are appointed in February 2016 demolition could begin in autumn that year with a new Meadowbank opening in Spring 2018.

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