Why Save Meadowbank

Protect our heritage
MeadowbankMeadowbank is much more than just a sports centre; it is part of our history. It is home to hundreds of sports clubs and thousands of regular users, and with the political will, there is no reason why it should not remain a significant part of our future. The stadium, sports centre and velodrome were built to provide a lasting legacy for the people of Edinburgh and Scotland.

Meadowbank hosted both the 1970 (for which it was built) and the 1986 Commonwealth Games, as well as many other major events, and is home to an amazing array of past, present, and (if the public get their way) future champions.

Success in the 2012 Olympic Games and 2014 Commonwealth Games will only come if current and future athletes have access to training facilities such as Meadowbank. (see this BBC report)

Protect public assets
Meadowbank is an invaluable public asset and must be protected for future generations. It is geographically, economically and socially accessible for city residents. Refurbished to modern standards and properly maintained, Meadowbank would provide an unrivalled facility and help the government achieve its vision of Scotland as a country where sport is ‘widely available to all’ – Sport 21 – The National Strategy for Sport.

Popular and well used
Despite years of neglect by the local authority, Meadowbank remains popular and well used. It provides essential facilities for all the residents, athletes and sports groups in Central and East Edinburgh. Demolishing the facilities would have a devastating impact on the sporting opportunities for young people in East and Central Edinburgh, the health and fitness of residents in the area would suffer immeasurably and youngsters would be left with little to do and nowhere to go in the evening.

It is frankly absurd for politicians to talk of their concern at the obesity epidemic and the increase in youth offending at the same time as proposing to sell off/reduce the very facilities necessary to address such problems.

Sporting ‘vision’
The financial case for selling the Meadowbank Land is flawed. The Council admits in its own documentation that even if Meadowbank were to be sold, there would still be a significant shortfall in funds needed to achieve their sporting ‘vision’. Section 14 http://cpol.edinburgh.gov.uk/getdoc_ext.asp?DocID=56598

The working group set up to discuss the future of Meadowbank found a very significant “black hole” in the current plans. Even with the sale of Meadowbank, City Park and Leith Waterworld, the Council are still short of £30 million. Find out more.

Environmental impact
A housing development of the scale proposed would have a wholly negative environmental impact, with the loss of a huge area of green space to be replaced by more flats, cars and congestion.

The housing proposal conflicts with national planning guidelines (NPPG11)

Loss of Sports facilities in Edinburgh
East Edinburgh has already lost an extensive list of sport facilities, including:

  • Hawkhill playing fields
  • Royal High School playing fields
  • Various bowling greens
  • Leith Links tennis courts
  • Leith Links putting green
  • Pilrig putting green
  • Meadowbank tennis courts
  • City park
  • Powderhall
  • Pitz Portobello (pending)
  • Leith waterworld (pending)

The East of the City cannot afford to lose another popular and well-used public facility and Edinburgh landmark.

Local democracy
Were a housing scheme built on Meadowbank, the Council would be showing contempt for the wishes of the local community despite making a commitment to assure “communities are fully involved in decisions which affect them and [that] local democracy is enlarged”.

The public should set the priorities, and our public servants (our councilors) should implement them. Facilities should be made available to people throughout Edinburgh and Scotland so that no area is left behind.

For a list of further arguments, download our Save Meadowbank booklet (pdf).