Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Plans for replacement Meadowbank stadium

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Media captionBuilt for the 1970 Commonwealth Games, the council's proposal for a replacement Meadowbank stadium depends on filling a funding gap of up to £20m

Edinburgh councillors will be asked to commit to a multi-million pound upgrade for Meadowbank sports complex or potentially see it close in five years.

Built for the 1970 Commonwealth Games, the council's proposal for a replacement depends on filling a funding gap of up to £20m.

Last year more than 500,000 people used the sports complex.

Edinburgh city council leaders believe a replacement could extend its life by another half century.

Part of the proposed £43m cost would be met through SportScotland funding and by selling off some of the existing land.

However, between £11m and £20m would still need to be found.

If approved, the new Meadowbank stadium could be ready by 2018.

Councillors will decide next month during their annual budget meeting.

If rejected, they will look at options for withdrawing services within five years.

Games venue

Richard Lewis, Edinburgh city council's culture and sport convener, 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.

"If agreed by the corporate policy and strategy committee, the future of Meadowbank will form part of the council's budget considerations for the next financial year."

June Peebles, interim chief executive of Edinburgh Leisure, said: "Meadowbank is part of Edinburgh's sporting heritage and continues to attract thousands of customers, participating in a wide range of physical activities, through its doors every week.

"Edinburgh Leisure is therefore 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."

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