Meadowbank Stadium Edinburgh, Sport Facility, Redevelopment News, Photos
Meadowbank Stadium : Edinburgh Sports Arena
Scottish Sports Centre Faces Demolition
Meadowbank Sports Centre Address: 139-143 London Road, Edinburgh
Phone: 0131 661 5351
Architects: Edinburgh City Council
Save Meadowbank : www.savemeadowbank.org
Edinburgh Velodrome News
12 Sep 2012 - Sir Chris Hoy has called on city officials to preserve the future of a creaking velodrome which set him on the path to becoming Britain’s greatest ever Olympian, reports the Edinburgh Evening News.
The six-time gold medallist told how the cycle track at Meadowbank Stadium had been a cornerstone of his later success and appealed for greater investment in the facility.
And he said Edinburgh’s reputation as “one of the great track cities” may begin to wane if the sport’s infrastructure was allowed to decline.
Discussions have been had regarding selling off parts of the stadium – including the velodrome – and creating a new home for Edinburgh Rugby on the site.
Building News 2008
The wheels have truly fallen off the cart, both in the capital as a whole but also on the site of our major sports facility: keeping Meadowbank Stadium running (while the controversial redevelopment is put on hold) is now costed at a whacking £12m.
To put it in context, building the smaller 'replacement' £25m sports centre [to be located on the velodrome site] required the existing stadium land to be sold. But that land previously costed at £17m, in today's depressed market is priced at...just £5m.
As the Commonwealth Games gets ever closer the Council is being painted into a corner. The £6m ringfenced by CEC for the Meadowbank redevelopment will now fix the £4.75m funding hole in the Royal Commonwealth Pool refurbishment.
The Save Meadowbank Campaign's architect estimated that "£27m would upgrade the entire facility without involving any sale of land, and provide a new covered velodrome on site. This figure included more than £3m for construction industry inflation which if we remove brings the sum to £24m".
As a user (since childhood) of Meadowbank Stadium its clear the facility needs some attention, but I am not aware of any report - as per the Forth Bridge - which states the building is in danger of falling down. The building is a bit of a tough nut both inside and out. Maybe over the last decade there should have been less boasting about Edinburgh being in the top 5% of European capitals and more diligence with building stock maintenance and management. Whilst striking as a piece of structure (ok, only the south stand) Meadowbank Stadium has little real finesse. However, intelligent modifiation and refurbishment is surely the first option.
A repeat of the Caltongate controversy is mooted by opponents to plans to build homes on the site of Meadowbank Stadium. Edinburgh Councillors opposed to the sale of land at Meadowbank say there will be thousands of public objections and calls for a public inquiry.
Commonwealth Games medallist Chris Black vowed to burn his Scotland team blazer in protest at the decision to demolish the existing stadium.
The value of the 8.5 acres of vacated land is put at £17m. The reduced facilities (relocated) at the east end of the site are costed at £25m. The new stadium capacity of 5,000 compares to the existing 16,500.
Meadowbank Stadium: View
Clearly the main issues are concerns about ‘selling off the silver’ ie reduction of public facilties, pressure on services such as roads and schools, and the usual ‘not in my backyard’ complaints. Architecture doesn’t appear to feature. The building is described as beyond saving, but if there is clear architectural / engineering evidence it appears to be hard to find (does anyone know?). The stadium is simple and strong, but not particularly elegant. It expresses structure in a way redolent of Pier Luigi Nervi’s stadiums in Rome. There are numerous architects in Scotland more than capable of replacing this Stadium with not only a better building but a more beautiful one. But there is a concern that a replacement might be worse, without an architect on board no-one can tell. It would be fair to say the City Council doesn’t have a particularly strong pedigree when it comes to civic buildings, landscape and artworks (just look at the pathetic sculpture outside the CEC HQ for proof).
But on a personal note, as a youth I competed many times at the Stadium (I picked up various medals including a gold for Under 19 Scottish Triple Jump), and would be sad to see it go as a major Scottish sports arena. I've also started playing football here on the astroturf. We should be increasing our Sports venues rather than decreasing them, or letting them fall into disrepair. Meadowbank is not alone here, think for example of the now-closed Infirmary St Baths. Given Scotland’s issues with obesity and violence on the streets a vigorous augmentation of sports facilities seems overdue (thankfully the Commonwealth Games will help in Glasgow).
Like the fiery debate in London re saving Robin Hood Gardens (seventies concrete housing blocks) a key architectural issue is embodied energy – if there’s any way to save the structure by intelligent remodelling then the carbon saved is significant. The City of Edinburgh Council should have this issue at the forefront of their thinking regarding any developments.
Too many Scottish buildings are left to rot, with demolition then proposed as the ‘only option’, a fait accompli. Thankfully Edinburgh’s former GPO was saved, and the future of United Distillers and the former Infirmary St Baths look hopeful, but others such as the Gorgie Whisky Bond were less fortunate. In Dundee the surviving Linoleum factory becomes less saveable by the year, and in Glasgow the eco-towers proposal, aimed at halting demolition of tower blocks, is up against an imminent demolition timetable. And then there’s Cardross...
Edinburgh sports facilities
Report out with recommendation to look at sale options of land at Meadowbank. Finance raised from a sale could fund an est.£10.5m shortfall in the Commonwealth Pool project plus a phased development of new facilities at Meadowbank. Detailed report to be presented to councillors in Spring. Dec 2007.
Reports in June 2007 suggest the Stadium will be reprieved but adjoining indoor & outdoor facilties look set to be sold off for development. Tied in with this is the strong suggestion that the Sighthill sports facility proposal is to be abandoned. Commonwealth Pool refurbishment & additional facilities however is full steam ahead.
Previous News Items:
Deadline passed end of May 2007 for comments on controversial plans to redevelop the Meadowbank Stadium site
Meadowbank Stadium - Future?
This expressive but rather leaden building's future looks bleak as Edinburgh Council look to a new £49m sports facility at Sighthill in the west of the city, part-funded by sportscotland, due to go on site in 2009. The Council aim to make Edinburgh the most physically active city in Europe by 2020, quite a target. Meanwhile the Royal Commonwealth Pool by Robert Matthew looks more likely to be saved, and the Ratho Adventure Centre similarly looks set to thrive within the total £100m investment for sports up to 2020.
In Craigmillar plans are understood to include demolition of the ugly bulk of the Jack Kane Centre and replace it with a £28m sports facility including a velodrome, football barn and curling rink.
Built for the 1970 Commonwealth Games the Stadium is likely to be sold for residential land. There is a campaign group, Save Meadowbank, with a website at www.savemeadowbank.org
Background to Edinburgh's Sports Stadium
In a sea of mediocrity, the powerful forms of this stadium should be retained and upgraded. To the East we have the dull hulks of empty St Margaret’s House and Meadowbank House; across the road we have Macdonalds and six ugly ‘sheds’ that have absolutely no place so close to our great city centre and which should be replaced urgently. Such central land should have much higher density development, these sheds are indefensible at the Jewel, but beyond belief here. They should go, not the stadium.
Meadowbank Stadium: refurbish it
Meadowbank Stadium is the premier Athletics Venue in Scotland and Edinburgh's best Athletics Stadium & Sports Centre. Located off London Road in the east of the city, the stadium has a 16,000 capacity and was used twice for the Commonwealth Games.
Once the showcase venue for Scotland’s sporting hopes, Meadowbank today is little more than a national embarrassment. The City of Edinburgh Council is convinced it has a strong case for funding from the Scottish Executive. They believe that Meadowbank - and the Royal Commonwealth Pool - have contributed significantly to the nation’s sporting excellence as well as being assets for the local community.