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Council set to appoint contractor to build new Meadowbank

Posted: 8th October 2018

Next week councillors are set to appoint a contractor to deliver a new state-of-art Meadowbank Sports Centre for Edinburgh. It has been designed to meet the current and future needs of the local community and the people of Edinburgh and beyond.

When opened in 2020, the facility will be managed by Edinburgh Leisure.

This follows the £45m project receiving planning permission in June as well as confirmation of a multi-million pound pledge from the national agency for sport.

sportscotland has approved an in-principle investment of £5m towards the new venue, a significant contribution towards the city’s project to create a new community sports facility on part of the original site.

In a report to the Finance and Resources Committee on Thursday, 11 October, Graham Construction Ltd is recommended as the preferred bidder to demolish the existing building and construct the new one. They will use the designs agreed by the Development Management Sub Committee in June.

As part of the contract, Graham Construction Ltd would launch a ‘Benefit in Kind’ fund of £40,000 to support local projects through time, materials and expertise, alongside a work apprenticeship programme and the creation of local jobs.

Councillor Donald Wilson, Culture and Communities Convener, said: “This is set to be another significant milestone for the project bringing us another step closer to delivering this new state-of-the-art venue for the city. Taking forward the approved designs also means Meadowbank will retain its status as one of the city’s flagship sports venues.

“I’m really pleased to see that the new dedicated indoor athletics area is larger than before and will allow a number of different athletics disciplines to train at the same time. It will also be available for use whenever the centre is open as opposed to the previous space which doubled as a concourse for the stadium.

“The £5m funding from sportscotland is welcome news as when open Meadowbank will be one of the best facilities for community and club sport in the country. The new venue will support accessible participation in sport and physical activity for all ages and abilities for generations to come.”

In addition to the new and improved indoor facilities, Meadowbank’s well used outdoor running track will be resurfaced and two new all-weather pitches for football will be available all year round. This is in addition to a dedicated purpose-built space for throw athletics such as discus and javelin. For those using the outdoor space, changing facilities will be provided.

As well as the improved indoor athletics area, there will be two games halls for a range of sports, designed to match the size of the halls in the previous facility. There will be a gym with triple the number of exercise stations, three larger fitness studios and a purpose-built gymnastics area more suitable for the gymnasts needs. The martial-arts and boxing spaces will also be improved, being warmer and lighter. Finally, the new facility will also have two squash courts and a café.

Chief Executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said: “Over the years Meadowbank has been played a central role in the development of Scottish sport and this new facility will ensure it continues to do so for generations to come.

“It will be a fitting home for athletes of all abilities and an outstanding sports facility available for the local community.

“We look forward to continuing to work with our partners, including the City of Edinburgh Council and Edinburgh Leisure, to progress the plans for the new Meadowbank, which will be an integral part of Scotland’s world-class sporting system.”

June Peebles, CEO at Edinburgh Leisure said: “We welcome the appointment of Graham Construction Ltd as the contractors; this is one step closer to the creation of a new Meadowbank for the people of Edinburgh and beyond. Everyone at Edinburgh Leisure is excited at the prospect of a new Meadowbank, as are our customers, the most often asked question is “when will the new centre open”? I look forward to that moment when the doors open to customers old and new, when people of all ages and abilities can once again enjoy moving at Meadowbank.”

In June, the Development Management Sub Committee also approved the principle of the redevelopment of land surrounding the Sports Centre for mixed uses including residential, student accommodation, hotel and commercial uses, together with car parking, landscaping, drainage and ancillary works.

Further extensive consultation is currently taking place on this, before more detailed plans are brought back to planning next year.

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