Disused Edinburgh quarry to become surf water park

Wavegarden Scotland is to be created in the Capital. Picture; contributed
Wavegarden Scotland is to be created in the Capital. Picture; contributed
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A MAN-MADE surf park is to be created in the Capital under plans which would see a disused quarry pit turned into an artificial lake with waves controlled at the flick of a switch.

Developers are giving city residents the chance to take a look at blueprints for the attraction – the first of its kind in Scotland – later this month.

Surfs up in Edinburgh. Picture; contributed

Surfs up in Edinburgh. Picture; contributed

If the proposals are approved, the disused Craigpark Quarry pit near Ratho would be transformed into a multi-million pound surfing and leisure facility called Wavegarden.

Bosses at developer Tartan Leisure said momentum behind the plan had been building steadily thanks to the inclusion of surfing in the next Olympics and the success of similar facilities in Wales and Texas.

Residents have been invited to the Patey Suite at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena (EICA), which is opposite the proposed surf site, on February 22 from 3.30pm - 7.30pm to find out more about what the park will look like. With a further public consultation in Ratho Library on February 27 from 2.30pm – 7.30pm.

The Scottish Wavegarden will also include a new technology called the Cove which is capable of producing waves at a much higher frequency.

A similar project was launched in Snowdonia in August 2015 which has since welcomed over 150,000 visitors.

The planned site lies directly across from the EICC arena and it is hoped that, together, these facilities could put Ratho on the map as an outdoor adventure destination, providing huge benefits to the local economy.

As well as surfing and water sports facilities, the proposals also include self-catering lodges, a café, car park, retail outlets and a large country park aimed at walkers, runners and cyclists.

Andy Hadden, co-founder of Tartan Leisure, said: “Public access to the country park surrounding the wave park will be maintained in line with the current planning permission.

“The large park area surrounding has all sorts of potential for ancillary activities.

“It will also be an area of natural beauty, and a wonderful place to escape and relax for all age groups.

“We’ll be discussing various options and ideas with the public in order to put forward a proposal that includes a wide variety of activities while still maintaining the natural landscape.”

The Wavegarden Scotland development expects to create more than 80 jobs, including specialist water sports positions and a variety of roles in retail, catering and leisure.

Mr Hadden added: “Wavegarden Scotland is a thrilling new concept in the adventure leisure industry.

“If approved, it could position Scotland as a leading surfing destination as the country already has some world-class natural breaks.

“We’ve received fantastic feedback on our plans to date and we look forward to sharing them with the local community.”

Council bosses have welcomed the plans and said the park could encourage residents to become more active. Councillor Gavin Barrie, economy leader, said: “The Wavegarden Scotland project appears an exciting addition to active participant sport in the Edinburgh area. Anything that encourages people, whether young or old, to lead an active lifestyle and enjoy all the benefits that come with it is likely to garner support across the city. Hopefully others will share my enthusiasm for development.”

Surfing is a fast-growing sport and will make its debut as an Olympic sport at the next summer games in Tokyo. William Watson, president of the Scottish Surfing Federation, said: “We fully support this fantastic project and will continue to work with Tartan Leisure Ltd to ensure it fits with the best interests of Scottish surfing.”

fiona.pringle@jpress.co.uk