New Meadowbank Sports Centre plans get the green light

Plans to build a new Meadowbank Sports Centre in Edinburgh have been approved by city councillors.

External meadowbank
A new look for Meadowbank

The £47m project will see a new state-of-the-art community sports facility built on the site of the original Meadowbank, which closed in December 2017. It is hoped the accessible new venue will become one of the top centres for community sport in the country, helping to support accessible participation in sport and physical activity for all ages and abilities for generations to come.

At a special meeting of the Development Management Sub Committee today (Friday 29 June), members acknowledged concerns expressed by local residents who would be affected by any development of the wider site which was granted planning in principle. The Committee has insisted that local members of the community should be closely involved in shaping development in the area before detailed proposals come forward.

Council Leader Adam McVey said: “This is great news for the future of sport in the city. The redevelopment is an investment in the future health and wellbeing of our citizens and will see Meadowbank retain its position as the flagship site for sport in Edinburgh.

“When this Council set its budget, we had some tough decisions. We knew that the old venue had reached the end of its lifespan but despite the budget pressures, we agreed that investment in this new facility and the benefits it will bring should be a priority for the city and for the coalition.

“I am pleased to see planning permission granted for the new facility and the decision to approve in principle agreement for development of the wider site will, of course, support our ambitions for the new sports centre. It will also support our strategy for building much needed new affordable homes but before we progress these plans, much more engagement needs to be done. We’ll now kick off a meaningful, comprehensive consultation after the summer to make sure we get this right.”

Depute Council Leader Cammy Day, added: “The planning consent brings us another step closer to seeing the new Meadowbank built, and once open, it will be one of the best facilities of its kind in the whole country. The next stage is to progress development plans for the rest of the site - much of which is currently derelict - through the creation of quality new housing, business opportunities and new jobs.

“We have listened to community groups and it is clear this is a project people in the city feel passionately about. While we have already consulted on our proposals, there is clearly a lot of public interest in the wider plan and a desire for more user and resident engagement. A working group will be set up and we will work with the local community to create a development everyone can be proud of.”

Funded by the Council and redevelopment of the wider Meadowbank site, substantial support will also be sought from SportScotland for the new sports centre. Once open, it will be managed by Edinburgh Leisure.

The planning hearings took place following a 12-week consultation on the Council-led proposals, when over 500 responses were gathered during public exhibitions with Edinburgh Leisure users, feedback from community councils, sports clubs and governing bodies and through an online public portal.

Further extensive consultation will take place this year on proposals for the wider site, before more detailed plans are brought back to planning. A procurement process is already underway for the demolition of the existing sports centre, and it is anticipated that this work will begin in the autumn. 

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