Armadale rallies in bid to net Andy Murray tennis centre

Andy Murray lifts the US Open championship trophy
Andy Murray lifts the US Open championship trophy
Have your say

Developers in Armadale have called for the a national tennis academy to be built in West Lothian – and said they would gift the land.

The proposal to open a national tennis centre was first mooted by the US Open champion’s mum, Judy, two years ago, with the former Dunfermline College of Education at Cramond tipped to host it.

But plans for the Andy Murray-backed centre in the Capital came to an end earlier this week after it was declared too expensive. .

However, Southdale, a £200 million project overhauling Armadale train station, says it is in talks with West Lothian Council and national tennis chiefs.

The development currently includes an Asda superstore, with housing being built and a cinema, restaurants, hotel, doctors surgery and a primary school among future plans.

A Southdale spokesman said: “We had put Southdale forward as an option initially, before Cramond was mooted as favourite. A lot of work has been done since then and our site is now much closer to being deliverable.

“The clear advantage of this site is that we are gifting the land for the tennis academy, and there is the potential to link this in with the soon-to-be-built primary school to offer joint facilities.

“The involvement with one of Scotland’s largest regeneration projects also has the potential to draw in private sector investment, adding to that potentially to be provided through public sector bodies.”

The proposed academy would house eight indoor and eight outdoor courts, with supporting leisure facilities.

The Southdale spokesman added: “We have been in discussions with West Lothian Council and have established a constructive dialogue about our proposal to include the academy, which we have enjoyed throughout delivery of the development.

“We need to sit down with Judy Murray and her team to see what is required and then see what, if any, support West Lothian Council would be willing to make.”

Alex Salmond has already publicly backed plans to open an academy. The First Minister got behind the scheme following a meeting with Andy Murray after his US Open victory last month.

West Lothian Council was unavailable for comment.