Comment: Seeing stars like this can inspire kids

Beyonce in Edinburgh in 2003. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Beyonce in Edinburgh in 2003. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

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MORE Beyoncé, more Tom Daley, more Mo Farah and Bradley Wiggins – bring it on.

The major international events that the Capital has attracted in recent years have created some wonderful moments. Who can forget Beyoncé literally stopping the traffic on Princes Street when she stayed at the Balmoral for the MTV Awards in Leith? And the artistry of the Commonwealth Games divers at the Commie Pool in 2014 and the stars of Tour of Britain in Holyrood Park will live long in the memory too.

Do we want more of the same? Of course we do.

It’s not just the thrill of seeing superstars in the flesh and sport of music performed at a world-class standard, although that would be enough in itself. But these kind of events bring so much more to the city.

Seeing figures like this can inspire the next generation of sporting stars and artists – or just encourage our kids to get involved in sport or take up a musical instrument.

We also know very well the economic benefits that these events can bring in the quieter months between our summer and winter festivals, supporting the jobs of local cabbies, tram drivers, airport and hotel staff, and so on.

Edinburgh is a world-class city. Its stunning architecture and natural beauty make it a fantastic choice for event organisers. That gives Edinburgh an automatic head start on other cities around the world when it comes to winning the right to stage prestigious events.

We may not have facilities in Edinburgh like Glasgow’s Hydro, but the situation is improving slowly but steadily. Oriam, the £30 million elite sports performance centre at Heriot-Watt University’s Riccarton campus, and the new Ross Bandstand that is in the pipeline offer two top rate venues to add to what we already have. Let’s see them put to good use.