City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Meadowbank Plans Suspended as Property Falls

By edg - Posted on 15 November 2008

The redevelopment of Meadowbank stadium is likely to be suspended temporarily until land values in Edinburgh recover. The project had been due to start in early 2011 with a two year target for completion but the recent onset of a global financial crisis has contributed to a decrease in the value of the Council's land assets.

Councillors agreed in March of this year to sell off one third of the land on the Meadowbank site to help pay for a new stadium on the site. At that time the land had an estimated value of £17 million to contribute to the £25 million project but current estimates suggest the value has dropped to £5 million. The programme of work at Meadowbank will now be delayed.

"Edinburgh is feeling the effects of the credit crunch and we are adjusting our plans accordingly," said City of Edinburgh Council Finance Leader Councillor Gordon Mackenzie. "The decision to postpone the Meadowbank project is difficult from a sporting perspective but financially it looks inevitable. We have experienced a significant drop in land values and the numbers simply don't stack up at this time."

He added: "When the finances of the Council are stronger we will look to move the project forward again."

City of Edinburgh Council Sports Leader Deidre Brock said that it was important that the downturn in economic conditions didn't prevent our athletes having access to training facilities in the build up to the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.

"To do this we will aim to put maintenance funding in place to make sure Meadowbank is fit for use in the mean time but beyond that we will press ahead with a new facility. It is very clear to us that the Meadowbank, in its current form, is coming to the end of its life and it isn't meeting modern sporting standards."

The Council recently published its first autumn budget statement which set out the current financial position in consideration of the credit crunch.

It pointed out that until recently the Council had expected to raise £43 million from the sale of land and properties to pay for new capital projects. However, because of the impact of falling land values, current estimates point to a shortfall of £20million.

Recommendations to postpone the Meadowbank project will be considered at the meeting of the full Council on 20th November.