On your marks for a new Meadowbank

Delivering a new Meadowbank Sports Centre is the key recommendation in a report to be discussed by the City of Edinburgh Council next week.

Meadowbank london road
Design concept for Meadowbank - London Road entrance

The ‘Funding Package Proposal for a new Meadowbank’ report outlines the estimated investment required to build a brand new state of the art sports centre.

The estimated total project cost has now reduced to £41.1m and the report recommends the Council develops the detailed design which would allow the project to be tendered. This would then provide greater clarity on the funding gap required from the Council capital investment programme - currently estimated at £5.98m.

The remainder of the funding would be achieved by generating capital receipts from the surplus land at Meadowbank, prudential borrowing and revenue savings from closing the facilities during the construction period. In addition the Council would make an application to sportscotland for funding.

Another benefit outlined in the report is that two areas of the site would be transferred to the Council’s 21st Century Homes Programme providing affordable housing.

The report will now be discussed by a meeting of the City of Edinburgh Council next week (Thursday 10 March).

Council Leader Andrew Burns said: “This report sets out quite clearly the funding required to turn one of our flagship facilities, which everyone agrees is at the end of its useful life, into a sports venue fit for the 21st century.

“While it is a significant investment for the Council, creating a detailed design would give us greater clarity about how much money we need to invest. Not only would we see a new Meadowbank but more homes would be built to meet the city’s housing needs.

“Obviously there is still a long way to go with a project of this scale if the funding is agreed but I want to assure everyone that the Council is determined to realise our dream of redeveloping Meadowbank.”

Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture and Sport Convener, said: “Transforming Meadowbank into a brand new sports complex would provide a modern, fully accessible high quality sports centre for sports clubs and local communities.

“The new venue will bring health and wellbeing benefits across the city by supporting even more people to become and stay active.”

The 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 and sportscotland.

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.

If the funding shortfall is addressed then demolition could begin in late autumn 2017 with a new Meadowbank opening in summer 2019.

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