New destination for watersports
Wave park ‘to help future Olympic hopefuls’
Wavegarden Scotland, the company behind Scotland’s first artificial wave park, believes it can help encourage a new generation of Olympic performers.
The company has submitted its planning application after receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from public consultation events held earlier this year.
It wants to redevelop Craigpark Quarry adjacent to the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena near Ratho, into a word-class surf and leisure facility offering a variety of water sports on its man-made loch.
It will include self-catering luxury lodges, glamping pods, a waterfront café and restaurant, retail spaces, zip line, water tubing area, snow-sports area, and a car park.
The 23 hectare wave park has been masterplanned and designed by landscape architects HarrisonStevens, with engineering and technical consultation provided by WSP, and planning and development advice by Colliers International.
Wavegarden Scotland held two public consultations in February attended by about 260 people with more taking part online and via the company’s social media channels. No objections were raised.
Andy Hadden, co-founder of Wavegarden Scotland said: “We’re cautiously optimistic that our years of research, consultation and planning will pay off.
“We believe our facility will enhance Ratho as an international destination for adventure sports, and we’re delighted that we have the chance to deliver the project in a brownfield site within an old quarry.”
Wavegarden Scotland will be an ecologically responsible and diverse space for the surrounding communities and visiting public, with a large country park for walkers, runners and cyclists to enjoy.
The proposal details how the former quarry site has guided the design, with extensive re-use of onsite materials and stone to capitalise on the natural character of the site, while carefully considered plant and landscaping choices will help restore the area’s original ecology which was lost during the former quarry’s operations.
The overall design will develop existing integrated transportation and leisure links, including with the nearby canal network, into the heart of Edinburgh as well as the wider central belt.
With surfing due to debut as an Olympic Sport at Tokyo 2020, the team believes that Wavegarden Scotland will be delivered in time and will provide Scottish surfers with some of the most advanced surfing facilities available.
Using recently released, state-of-the-art wave generation technology called The Cove, Wavegarden Scotland will be among the most advanced surfing and water sport facilities in the world, with the capability to enable elite-level sports training and development.
Mark Boyd, captain of Scotland’s national surfing team, said: “Scottish surfing is growing and becoming more and more competitive on the world stage.
“Scottish Women’s Champion, Megan Mackay, took the Women’s gold medal at the Nordic Surf Games earlier this year, and we have proven we can make heats on the world stage in previous World and European Championships and at this year’s ISA World Games in Biarritz. Now we are hoping to raise enough funds to send a team to the European Surfing Championships in Norway in September.
“A facility like Wavegarden Scotland would give the Scottish surfing team a huge edge as a training facility, thereby helping us cost-effectively prepare for different conditions in competitions. It would also be very important in encouraging and developing future talent, while showcasing this wonderful sport to a wider audience.”
Andrew McNab, director of Colliers International, which is handling the development’s planning application said: “The consultations received a very positive reception from those that attended and viewed the information online. Wavegarden Scotland will provide a huge economic boost to the area.”