Meadowbank can be refurbished for £18 million

Campaigners today said Meadowbank Stadium could be brought up to modern standards for just a fraction of the cost suggested by council officials.

Architects employed by the council have said a new build stadium at Sighthill would cost £56 million. They reckon doing up Meadowbank would cost in the range £30 – £46 million. This is disputed by campaigners who say it shouldn’t cost more than £18 million.

Dr Dimitris Theodossopoulos of the University of Edinburgh has based his figures on industry standards and advice from specialist firms. His estimates are:

  • £3.5 million for a velodrome suitable for training, rather than competition
  • £6.6 million for a refurbished sports centre (rising to £12.8 million for a complete re-build)
  • £6.2 million for a new grandstand

plus several “minor” items, each of which will cost a low six figure sum:

  • £1.5 million for running track, football pitch, astroturf, tennis courts, throwing area, car park and sundry landscaping. 

“Much of this work could be phased,” said Dr Theodossopoulos. “For example, the velodrome can be done on its own. As can the grandstand, which is structurally sound and can be left until last.

“When considering the ambition of Sighthill it is curious the Council never applied similar criteria to Meadowbank or even submitted a renovation of Meadowbank as an alternative option for the 2004 SportScotland funding.

“This needs to be treated as part of an architectural project. A holistic view on the landscaping could enhance atmosphere, character, access and even usage of space. Car parks can be accommodated at various underground levels. A radical approach could view the future of the surrounding area as well, exploring incorporation of the industrial functions on the south of London Road, locating parking etc, or even better uses of the fringes along Marionville Road and Wishaw Terrace.

“The site could also be re-arranged so as to permit construction of housing to the east. Developments elsewhere are mixed use schemes, for example the Bristol Arena, but this proposal would seriously compromise the integrity of the site.”

Dr Theodossopoulos will give a brief presentation at the public meeting on Friday at Meadowbank Stadium, start time 19:00 BST.

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