Leeann Dempster to expand Easter Road’s usage

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Leeann Dempster is determined to drive Hibs into the heart of the community, adamant the Easter Road club can play its part in enriching the lives of many people.

She said: “We’ve undertaken a massive change when it comes to community and that will see a different use to the stadium, a significantly different use of the stadium and East Mains.

“We are sitting in a part of Edinburgh where rentals are high and property availability is difficult, so we can help. We can help deliver NHS services from the stadium, we can do entrepreneurial work, business start-up environments, training centres; these are things that are commercially in demand but there’s no space.

“Actually, there’s plenty of space in football stadiums and there’s plenty of space at East Mains where, for instance, there’s 50 acres of land unused. I am determined the facilities that have been developed for the elite side of things will also be used for community sport and community events to benefit people in East Lothian and Edinburgh. These are massive projects that potentially can have a significant effect on people’s lives.

“Sometimes when you have the trials and tribulations of football you forget where football sits in people’s lives. It has a real thread in their lives and at some point we can affect it. It might be their kids coming to play community sport or it might be reskilling in a learning centre or it might be the mental and health well-being programme we are running here.

“At some point in their lives, if they want it, we can be involved in a different way. I think that’s important and clubs don’t do it well enough.”