Meadowbank land sale not an option – Press Release

Campaigners today called on Edinburgh Council not to commit to the sale of land at Meadowbank in order to fund the stadium’s refurbishment.

Councillors will today receive a report from chief executive Tom Aitchison that asks them to consider two options, one for refurbishment and another for a complete re-build, both of which involve the sale of much of the site for housing and the complete loss of cycling facilities.

“Council officials have come up with plans that are out of line with requirements of users and the legitimate concerns of residents,” said Save Meadowbank campaigner Kevin Connor.

“Both options demonstate a lack of commitment to sport that flies in the face of all the pro-sport rhetoric surrounding Scotland’s successful Commonwealth Games bid.

“How seriously do we take any aspiration of success in these Games, and the 2012 Olympics, if we reduce the provision of training facilities for our current and future athletes?

“Even at its present size Meadowbank is often unable to meet demand. It is no coincidence that the Edinburgh area has produced many of the world’s top cyclists. Edinburgh’s own Chris Hoy, who was honoured last night at the City Chambers, has made it clear that the Meadowbank velodrome was vital to his success.

“The new Council has inherited a financial mess but it would still be a mistake for them to follow the old culture of selling off assets. Just as the Council sets budgets for the likes of transport and education, it must also make long-term plans and set aside an appropriate amount for sport. Such investment will pay health and social dividends that should not be underestimated.

“Any sell-off of Meadowbank would be scandalous.”

Edinburgh Council will consider the report when it meets on Thursday 20 December 2007.

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