Comment: ‘Surf plan major boost to city’

Have your say

THE Beach Boys probably didn’t have a quarry on the edge of Edinburgh in mind when they sang that if everybody had an ocean then we would all be surfin’.

A surfing centre might seem the most unlikely of uses for land close to the M8 and M9 in the heart of Scotland, but there is a lot about these plans to create a major 
adventure park at Ratho that adds up.

The technology exists to create the regular perfect waves needed to learn or practise the sport. The location near the motorways and airport is ideal for the millions of Scots living in the Central Belt as well as visitors from further afield.

And, crucially, adventure tourism is a fast growing business. The cash-rich young professionals who make up the vast majority of adventure holidaymakers already spend an estimated £178 million and rising a year in Scotland.

That should come as no surprise when you consider that it is the natural beauty of our countryside that attracts so many visitors. Why wouldn’t many want to enjoy all the thrills and spills it can offer?

The kind of sports these holidaymakers are after is something a little more off-piste than regular skiing, activities like mountain biking, extreme snowsports and surfing. It’s the kind of stuff that many people head straight to the Highlands for most weekends.

The proposed leisure park next to the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena would accommodate many of these activities on our doorstep.

It not only has the potential to deliver a major boost to the city economy, helping support hundreds if not thousands of jobs, it would also be a welcome change to see a major new leisure attraction built on the east coast.

There is no reason why everything exciting in that line needs to be built in Glasgow these days.

It is early days for these plans, but it is going to be exciting watching their progress next year.