The re-opening of cafe facilities within Meadowbank Stadium has today been welcomed by campaigners.
The Finishing Line Cafe, who also operate a similar facility The Cedar Tree Cafe at Vogrie Country Park, recently agreed an extended deal with Edinburgh Leisure to re-open the facility at Meadowbank which has been appropriately named given its location.
“We see this as a long-term measure,” said partner Bryan Rudge. “We are delighted Edinburgh Leisure accepted our offer and we have now invested several thousand pounds to improve the kitchen area.
“We have been pleased with how things have gone during our first two months of operation. We always have a range of healthy foods available with several hot and cold options. We look forward to working with Edinburgh Leisure and the various groups that use Meadowbank.”
Save Meadowbank spokesman Kevin Connor welcomed the cafe’s re-opening. “Meadowbank’s cafe used to be a hive of activity,” he explained. “It was hugely popular with both sportspeople and the wider local population. Parents used it as a base while their children played sport and local pensioners went there every Friday for a special pensioners lunch deal. But the cafe was closed shortly after Edinburgh Leisure took over the running of the complex in the late 90s.
“The loss of cafe facilities was one of the most obvious signs of neglect at Meadowbank. We very much welcome the reintroduction of this facility. With Meadowbank set to stay in its current form for a good number of years we hope this is a positive sign of the Council’s intention to improve the facility. The Finishing Line Cafe should be just the start of improvements at Meadowbank.”
Gavin Strang today warned Edinburgh Council about its plan to downsize Meadowbank Stadium.
He was speaking at a Public Inquiry into the Edinburgh Local Plan. The Edinburgh East MP, whose constituency covers the international sports centre, said: “I have never come across a planning issue that has aroused such massive public opposition.
“It’s not just about now. It’s about future generations. Meadowbank is very central, a key asset. It would be such an appalling blunder to downsize the facility.”
Over 1600 objections were lodged with Edinburgh Council about Meadowbank, more than the number of objections for all other parts of the Local Plan combined.
Inquiry reporters Dan Jackman and Richard Bowden heard accusations that the Local Plan as proposed was misleading because it made no mention of the plan to build houses on a significant part of the Meadowbank site. And there were complaints about how the Inquiry had been conducted with several objectors denied the chance to attend the hearing. Craigentinny/Meadowbank Community Council also complained about being omitted from the list of respondents.
Council officials explained decisions on Meadowbank are being made as part of a completely separate process.
The Inquiry considered three options: to completely remove Meadowbank from the Local Plan; to change it to read “the entire site should be retained for sports use”; or to expand it to include a fuller and updated explanation of the Council’s plan. The objectors preferred the second option, while Council officials wanted the third.
The hearing was then adjourned. A further exchange of correspondence will take place before Christmas. The Inquriry Reporters will publish their conclusions around the middle of next year.