Nestled in the parkland surrounding Heriot-Watt University, Oriam, Scotland's sports performance centre, was officially opened today and is set to make a huge impact on the sporting landscape.
The concept behind Oriam is to provide Scotland’s top athletes with the world class facilities and support services they need to deliver on the international stage and to inspire future generations to aim for sporting excellence. Providing extensive access for community use was also a key part of the brief and students and the wider community are already benefiting.
Investment in the £33 million project came from Scottish Government, sportscotland, Heriot-Watt University and City of Edinburgh Council and the result is a spectacular building which is already a thriving sporting hub, hosting international events and providing access to members of the public and Scottish Governing Bodies of sport (SGBs) alike.
Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister, attended today's official opening and said: “Our top sportsmen and women deserve the facilities, programmes and services that will help them excel. That’s why, in recent years, we have invested heavily in our sports infrastructure – including the £26 million we and sportscotland have invested towards Oriam.
“It’s fantastic that as well as elite athletes, these world class facilities can also be used by people in the local community. Scotland’s sporting facilities are now the best they have ever been and Oriam is the jewel in the crown of a range of new sports facilities up and down the country.”
Catriona McAllister, Oriam’s chief executive, said: “This has been an all-consuming project for more than four years. Throughout the planning and build, we worked tirelessly with our partner sports which will use Oriam as a training base, and other partners, to create a state of the art sporting facility.
"We believe Oriam will have a positive impact on the preparation and development of athletes, coaches and support staff, and inspire future generations to aim for sporting excellence.
“It’s incredible to see the project now it is completed. We must thank the Scottish Government, sportscotland, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh City Council, our contractors Bowmer & Kirkland and our partner sports for the integral part they have played in the process.
“Every visitor to Oriam is blown away by the scope and scale.
"With our partners, we will work to drive both participation and national excellence. To walk the halls and see both community users and elite, world-class athletes striving to be the best they can be is inspiring.”
Chair of sportscotland, Mel Young, added: “At sportscotland we are building a world class system sporting for everyone and Oriam has a huge role to play in delivering on our ambition to make Scotland a more active nation.
“Oriam was designed to inspire everyone to be the best that they can be, at every level. Scotland’s top athletes will benefit from the incredible facilities and expertise, giving them the best possible platform for success on the world stage.
"For the students here at Heriot-Watt University and the wider community, what better inspiration could there be to become more active than to train alongside their sporting heroes?
“Sports facilities in Scotland are now the best that they have ever been and what we have collectively delivered here at Oriam is simply outstanding. I am immensely proud that Scotland now has a sports performance centre that is, without doubt, world class.”
Find out more
Visit the Oriam website.