Olympic rings plan for Edinburgh Airport grounded

OLYMPIC Games organisers have ruled out mounting a huge metallic rings logo on the Forth Bridge or Edinburgh Airport, with a city centre location deemed the most desirable.

Talks are progressing with the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) to decide where in the Capital to place the eight-metre high insignia after plans to fix it on the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle were scrapped following a public outcry and successful Evening News campaign.

Several alternative sites have been suggested, including The Mound, City Chambers and North Bridge.

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In a News poll, more than a third of respondents voted Edinburgh Airport the ideal place to site the rings and 60 per cent of readers said the giant emblem should be placed away from the city centre.

Today, a council source revealed that a decision on the placement of the Olympic logo would be taken in early January.

“It appears that LOCOG are still keen to identify an area in the city centre and there’s going to be a meeting early in the new year with representatives from LOCOG, the Scottish Government and the council,” said the source.

“They are a looking at sites in Edinburgh city centre itself rather than on the outskirts and it seems as though the Forth Bridge and Edinburgh Airport have been ruled out.

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“They are looking for a prestigious site and the council is trying to help in this regard. A decision will be made in the first two weeks of January.”

Steve Cardownie, deputy leader of the city council, said while he opposed defacing Edinburgh Castle with the Olympic emblem, he was enthusiastic about finding an alternative venue in the city.

“It has to be sympathetic to Edinburgh’s character,” he said. “It has to be a site that meets the requirements of LOCOG and that people of the city will be willing to accept.”

Meanwhile, a counter offer by Midlothian Provost Adam Montgomery has been made to position the Games logo on the slopes of Hillend.

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The Penicuik councillor sent a formal letter to Lord Coe a fortnight ago asking that the Snowsports Centre be considered as a site for the rings.

In a statement to the Evening News, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport said “alternative locations [for the rings] should be put to Edinburgh City Council”.

Councillor Montgomery said: “As far as Edinburgh is concerned, they have had their chance to put it on the Castle. We will not be approaching Edinburgh to ask the ski centre to be considered because it’s nothing to do with them.”

Cllr Montgomery said even if his bid collapsed, he would consider finding another design or artwork for the ski centre.