Project to go ahead
Delayed Wavegarden gets £26m SNIB backing
A delayed plan to build a water-based leisure facility in a disused quarry has secured a financing deal that will enable the project to finally go ahead.
Wavegarden Scotland, which was expected to open to near Ratho, Edinburgh, this year is now scheduled for a summer 2024 opening after receiving £26 million from the Scottish National Investment Bank.
Senior lender OakNorth Bank is supporting the construction of the facility with an £25.2m loan.
Backing is also being provided by BAE Systems Pension Fund IM which will purchase the park through a sale and lease back arrangement once construction is complete.
Andy Hadden, founder of Tartan Leisure, the company behind the project, said: “Wavegarden Scotland will be a dynamic new leisure destination, whether you are in or out of the water.
“Having the backing of 45 local entrepreneurs and international shareholders, including Promethean Investments and Murray Capital, combined with the incredible support from the Scottish National Investment Bank, OakNorth and BAE Systems Pension Fund, has created what we believe, is the optimum financial structure for this landmark destination.”
Lothians Conservative MSP Sue Webber, said: “I’ve been proud to support the Wavegarden project, first as a local councillor for the area since 2017 and as now as an MSP.
“Bringing a world-class outdoor facility like this to Ratho will be an exciting asset to the community along with jobs and a genuine economic boost to the region.”
Wavegarden is a global surf technology brand that has witnessed extremely high growth in the surf park sector with more than 60 projects currently in development around the globe.
When complete the 23-hectare complex will also include holiday lodges and a central hub building with a food court. The developer promises close ties with local businesses during the construction phase and beyond to help maximise the local economic benefit.
Scottish National Investment Bank director Susan Campbell said: “This is an exciting, innovative, and ambitious project.
“The bank’s backing will regenerate a derelict site, increase access to the natural environment, help to restore biodiversity and stimulate tourism.
“The investment is a great example of the public and private sector collaborating successfully to unlock potential.”
Edinburgh City Council gave the project approval three years ago and a revised application was backed two years ago. There were more than 80 objections to the plan from local residents who feared the park and a large influx of visitors will adversely change the character of the area.