Murrayfield's war memorial to be moved to make way for hotel

RUGBY chiefs have admitted a war memorial in Edinburgh may have to be moved to make way for a new multi-million pound hotel.

Tuesday, 31st May 2016, 11:21 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st June 2016, 7:27 am
The war memorial next to Murrayfield Stadium could be moved to make way for a multi-million pound hotel. Picture: SNS Group

Scottish Rugby wants to build a hotel with between 100 and 200 rooms on land adjacent to the main entrance of Murrayfield Stadium off Roseburn Street, diagonally opposite the tram stop.

But this could mean having to move the existing war memorial that pays tribute to players who died during the First World War.

Scotland lost more international rugby players than any other country during the four-year war.

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Veterans groups have now urged developers to consult with the local community before considering any relocation.

Kevin Gray, Legion Scotland chief executive, said: “War memorials play a vital role in society, offering people a place to reflect and pay tribute to all those who lost their lives fighting for their country.

“Plans for the hotel are in the early stages, however if the war memorial at Murrayfield does need to be moved we would urge developers to work with the local community to identify an appropriate location so that people can continue to pay their respects to the 31 Scottish international players who died during the First World War.”

The stadium’s clock tower – gifted by a past president of the Scottish Rugby Union in 1929 – was previously moved when the facility underwent major renovation and rebuilding during the early 1990s.

Scottish Rugby chiefs insisted the location of the planned hotel was not final and that they were keeping an “open mind” regarding the facility’s design and style.

Mark Dodson, Scottish Rugby’s chief executive, said: “This is part of our continuing aim to improve the facilities and enhance the customer experience at BT Murrayfield.

“It will help us to develop and diversify our revenue streams for the benefit of Scottish Rugby as a whole.”

Plans to open the stadium up to tours and make it more of a “destination” have also begun.