Final Meadowbank fireworks show to have sci-fi theme

Meadowbank Fireworks display 2015. Picture; Ian Georgeson

Meadowbank Fireworks display 2015. Picture; Ian Georgeson

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For more than 30 years, it has been home to one of the Capital’s most iconic and spectacular annual events.

But now, Meadowbank Stadium is preparing to host its final bonfire night fireworks display under its current guise on Saturday before a £41 million refurbishment begins next autumn.

And organisers are determined to go out with a bang with a spectacular sci-fi themed display planned.

The dilapidated arena – originally built to host the Commonwealth Games in 1970 – is set to be replaced with a state-of-the-art facility by 2019, meaning the annual bonfire night fireworks could be forced to find another home until the project is completed.

Proposals designed to “future-proof” the stadium – which also hosted the infamous Games of 1986 – were drawn up in an effort to prevent the 45-year-old landmark from closure.

They detailed a new 500-seat athletics arena with a synthetic sports pitch would replace the current grass field and seated terrace, while space would also be allocated for gymnastics halls, dance studios, meeting rooms and an indoor 60m running track with jump space.

A spokesperson from the city council said the search for an alternative venue was under way, but that “any potential location for the display next year will have to be properly sounded out before any decision is made”.

Organisers have remained tight-lipped about the “sci-fi theme” of the evening, but confirmed that fireworks will be set to music from some of the most famous movies of all time, with attendees encouraged to dress up as their favourite characters.

The display will be kicked off by 13-year-old Blake Ross, star of Edinburgh Leisure’s “Looked after and active” film, showing how physical activity positively affects children in care.

The programme provides those in care with a free leisure card to allow them to pursue physical and sporting activity.

Blake said he was delighted to chosen to set of the fireworks and thanked Edinburgh Leisure for the opportunity.

“I’m thrilled to be chosen to set off the fireworks at Meadowbank,” he said.

“I really enjoy getting active with Edinburgh Leisure; he best thing about having the leisure card is you can do anything at all. You can go swimming, or do anything you would like to make you feel better and get fitter.

“If I didn’t have my leisure card, I’d just be stuck in my room in the house.”

A collection for similar projects run by Edinburgh Leisure, will be carried out before the display starts in Saturday evening.

Tommy George, community development manager for the organisation, said: “As a registered charity, we rely on external fundraising to run our projects to ensure we can be there to help improve the lives of people affected by health conditions and poverty.”

“This project helps us prepare children and young people for their future by providing valuable life skills, building confidence, strengthening family ties, and help them develop healthy behaviours.”

Tickets are available online at www.ticketsource.co.uk/meadowbanksportscentre