Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by the City of Edinburgh Council


  I was interested to learn that the Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the House of Commons will be examining the proposal to establish a national athletics stadium and in particular will be considering the desirability of continuing with the Picketts Lock project. The intention of this brief letter is to indicate to the Committee that should the DCMS decide not to proceed with Picketts Lock and a search for alternative locations for the national stadium is put in hand, it is my view that the City of Edinburgh Council owned Meadowbank Stadium (seating capacity 15,000) should be considered as one of the options. In this connection, I believe it is important for the Committee to acknowledge that it does not automatically follow that such a UK resource should be located in England.

  As the Committee will be aware, the City of Edinburgh has an enviable reputation around the world as being a major cultural centre. What is sometimes forgotten is that in the sporting context the city has played host to the Commonwealth Games on two occasions (1970 and 1986) and has been the venue at other times for a range of major international sporting events.

  As it happens, the City Council has recently embarked upon the preparation of a Sports Strategy for Edinburgh, which will include a detailed examination of the future use of Meadowbank Sports Centre and the Royal Commonwealth Pool (both constructed for the 1970 Commonwealth Games) for national and international sporting events. It has to be acknowledged that both facilities are now somewhat "tired" and would require significant investment to bring them up to present day international standards. Therefore, before embarking upon such potentially expensive projects the City Council is eager to obtain the views of the sporting world as to the future roles of both facilities.

  No doubt it will not be lost on the Committee that were Edinburgh to be considered as a potential site for the UK athletics stadium, the project to upgrade or replace the existing Meadowbank Stadium could become part of that agenda.

  I will resist the temptation to shower the Committee with information on the Meadowbank Sports Centre at this time but will be happy to send anything that is required in future should the Picketts Lock project be abandoned. In the meantime, I am enclosing some simple plans which Mr Kaufman may be interested to see (not printed). I look forward to hearing from you further about this matter.

25 September 2001

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