sportscotland announces £20 million investment

Posted on 09/07/2014 by


sportscotlandsportscotland today announced a new £20 million National and Regional Facilities Investment, but the Scottish Greens are urging consultation with users to ensure sport can be ‘accessible, affordable and enjoyable’ for all.

The national agency for sport has identified a number of areas in Scotland which can benefit from improved facilities and will work closely with its partners in local authorities and Scottish Governing Bodies of sport to help deliver new projects.

This new investment strand will result in large multi-purpose sports facilities, which will enhance the existing network of national and regional sports facilities across Scotland.

These new facilities will be available for communities to use as well as performance athletes at regional and national levels.

On the eve of Glasgow 2014 – the largest multi-sport event in Scotland’s history – sporting facilities in the country are the best they have ever been and are set to improve even further.

A number of centres of sporting excellence are already in place across Scotland, including Aberdeen Sports Village, the Emirates Arena, Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, and Tollcross Acquatics Centre in Glasgow, Dundee’s Dick McTaggart Gymnastics Centre and Olympia swimming centre, Edinburgh’s Royal Commonwealth Pool, The PEAK in Stirling, and the Ravenscraig Regional Facility in Motherwell.

These excellent facilities resulted from sportscotland’s previous investment of £44.3 million, as part of the National Regional Sports Facilities Strategy, complementing some £300 million capital investment from local authorities.

In addition, Scotland’s £30 million National Performance Centre for Sport will be completed by 2016 at Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University campus.

Today’s £20 million facilities announcement will be prioritised in areas identified as requiring improvements, ensuring more athletes have access to high quality sports facilities and services.

Highland, Tayside & Fife, Ayrshire, East (Edinburgh), Stirling, and the Scottish Borders have been identified as areas which could benefit from this strategy.

Outlining details of this new facilities investment strand, sportscotland Chief Executive Stewart Harris said: “We have capitalised on Glasgow 2014 by accelerating our plans for a world-class sporting system at every level thanks to National Lottery and Scottish Government funding, and today’s £20 million investment announcement is a significant milestone in delivering even more excellent sporting facilities for the people of Scotland and performance athletes to use.

“The standards of facilities in Scotland are the best they have ever been, and today we are outlining a new investment stream which will further enhance the existing network. The National and Regional Facilities Investment will provide more and better opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to take part in sport and physical activity.”

Welcoming today’s announcement, the Cabinet Secretary for the Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison, said: “Investing in new multi-purpose sports centres will open up even more opportunities for people to try new sports and lead healthier and more active lives. Scotland already enjoys world-class facilities and with just days until the Commonwealth Games begin, this £20 million pound investment demonstrates our long term ambitions for sport.

“We are committed to making Scotland a healthier nation, from helping people of all ages to enjoy sport to supporting athletes to compete at the highest level. By working with local authorities and sporting bodies, the National and Regional Facilities Fund will create a lasting legacy from the Games for years to come.”

Whilst also welcoming the investment, Green MSP for Lothian Alison Johnstone, who is sport spokesperson for her party, is calling for consultation with user groups to determine how the £20million should be used to improve sporting facilities.

The MSP, who is a former competitive athlete and qualified athletics coach, said: “While I welcome investment in facilities that cater for a broad range of needs, it’s vitally important that we see meaningful consultation with all user groups. In deciding where this money is spent we must listen to the needs of athletes, coaches, governing bodies and leisure facility users.

“The demise of Meadowbank stadium in Edinburgh is a classic example of what not to do. We need to ensure new and upgraded facilities come with realistic maintenance budgets and appropriately trained staff. We need to make sure no area is left behind in the race to create a Commonwealth Games legacy.

“Given the health issues our society faces from inactive lifestyles, and the growing cost to the NHS, we must take every opportunity to make sport accessible, enjoyable and affordable.”

The city council has also welcomed the sportscotland announcement of £50m investment over the next four years.

Councillor Cathy Fullerton, Vice Convener of Education, Children and Families said: “Today’s announcement by sportscotland is great news for school children in Edinburgh and I’m delighted there will be funding for another four years. 2014 is a really big year for sport in Scotland with the Commonwealth Games taking centre stage and thanks to our fantastic Active Schools team there have been some amazing sporting events taking place across the Capital.

“In May our ‘Tri-umph Triathlon’ attracted over 1,700 children and was followed by the hugely successful Games @ THE HUB. These events provide children with a great opportunity to experience a variety of different sports which they will hopefully be inspired to take up outside of school.”