News Release: Meadowbank is hot topic for Currie

Currie Community CouncilCurrie’s Community Council is the latest to object to Edinburgh Council’s plan to scale-down Meadowbank Stadium and replace much of it with housing.

“Currie Community Council considered that the campaign to retain Meadowbank, and not sell off part of the site for housing, was one worth supporting. Currie may be several miles away from Meadowbank but it is on a direct bus route to the stadium,” said their planning convenor, Archie Clark. He knows quite a bit about the subject because he is a qualified architect who in 1986 worked at several of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Games sites.

“This was a national facility and not one that should be seen solely as a provision for Edinburgh. As a Capital city, Edinburgh acts as caretakers for buildings for national functions so it consequently requires national funding. At present it looks as though the Scottish Government is happy for Edinburgh to deal with the Commonwealth Pool and Meadowbank as though they were local assets. Edinburgh therefore has to compete on equal terms which inevitably means a dilution of quality in terms of facilities, open space provisions, transport links and so on.

“Sadly there is also no joined-up thinking when it comes to recognising that exisiting Commonwealth facilities in Edinburgh are close enough to be seen as a “Games Village”. Scattering facilities across the City – or wider – dilutes the ability to provide a powerful focus in superb surroundings with potentially excellent road and rail links.”

Currie is the fourth Community Council to publicly object to the decision made by Edinburgh councillors earlier this year to demolish Meadowbank.

  • View indicative diagrams of Edinburgh Council’s latest plan for Meadowbank, showing the size and location of any future sports centre and the area that is to become a housing scheme.

News Release: Maintaining existing facilities would be suitable Games legacy

Meadowbank Stadium, venue for the 1986 Commonwealth Games © Miles Cumming, Edinburgh The Government should look to maintain existing facilities if they are serious about wanting to provide the country with a lasting legacy from the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

That was the message campaigners delivered at a public meeting in Edinburgh last week when Government officials sought views on what legacy people would like Scotland to receive from hosting the event in six years time.

Edinburgh hosted the Games in both 1970 and 1986. Yet both the Royal Commonwealth Pool and Meadowbank Stadium have since been neglected financially. Meadowbank in particular faces total demolition with the loss of most of its facilities.

“Officials leading the 2014 team talk about learning from places like Melbourne and Manchester. They really ought to start closer to home and learn from what happened to Edinburgh,” said Save Meadowbank spokesman Kevin Connor.

“We need to maintain what we already have. Alex Salmond should match his rhetoric with cash and give Edinburgh Council more money so Scotland’s capital can retain the much loved and hugely popular facilities that were meant to be their long-term legacy from previous Games.”

  • View indicative diagrams of Edinburgh Council’s latest plan for Meadowbank, showing the size and location of any future sports centre and the area that is to become a housing scheme.

News Release: Government should target Meadowbank refurbishment

Meadowbank stadiumThe Scottish Government’s own targets should be enough reason for it to agree to fund Meadowbank’s refurbishment, according to campaigners.

Last November, as part of the Scottish Budget Spending Review, Alex Salmond’s Government announced a National Performance Framework with 15 outcomes and 45 targets. “Many of these outcomes are particularly relevent to the saving of sports facilities at Meadowbank,” said Save Meadowbank spokesman Kevin Connor.

“For example, the ones about living longer, healthier lives with access to high-quality public services we need that are responsive to local people’s needs.

“The Government must follow its own agenda and work within this National Performance Framework. Selling a third of Meadowbank Stadium and downsizing facilities doesn’t fit in with their rhetoric.”

  • View indicative diagrams of Edinburgh Council’s latest plan for Meadowbank, showing the size and location of any future sports centre and the area that is to become a housing scheme.

News Release: Edinburgh under greatest threat since 1960s

Edinburgh’s heritage is under its greatest threat since the 1960s, according to a leading conservation architect.

James Simpson, who is a vice president of ICOMOS-UK, was speaking at an Edinburgh at Risk event in the capital on Saturday. He said: “The last Council administration in Edinburgh was well intentioned but it went too far in supporting developments that were too large or simply inappropriate.

“This is epitomised by the Caltongate proposal where the old bus garage site obviously needed to be developed. But the Council went too far when it extended the brief by including land in its own ownership in Market Street and actively promoted the demolition of listed buildings, one of which – the very handsome former New Street School, latterly the Canongate Venture – was Council owned. The City Council has a primary duty to protect listed buildings, not to promote their demolition.

“There is hope because the economy has now gone off the boil. This is a natural correction of the economy which gives us a breathing space. We need to use this to put the message across to the Council and to bodies like the Chamber of Commerce that the heritage interest is not opposed to development, only to bad and inappropriate development. Also that heritage and sustainability are closely aligned. As recent reports have shown, the most sustainable buildings are existing buildings.”

Speakers from several groups also addressed the event, including the Save Meadowbank Campaign.

Event organiser Sally Richardson, of The Canongate Project, was pleased at the turnout. She said: “Many more free events are planned over the next fortnight. Further detail is available at http://www.eh8.org.uk.”