Funds raised for development

Stockbridge sports venue signs tenants as work begins

Raeburn Place development

Artist’s impression of new scheme

Eight tenants have been signed up for the new shops that will front a controversial development at the world’s oldest international rugby venue.

Work has begun at the Stockbridge home of Edinburgh Academical Football Club and the Edinburgh Academical Cricket Club after a foundation supporting expansion of the facilities raised £8.5 million.

The Raeburn Place Foundation now hopes to have phase one complete by the autumn and said all but one of the nine shop units had been let. Marks & Spencer Food, Waterstones and hairdresser Charlie Miller are among those taking space.

Planning permission for the scheme was granted in 2014 but it has been dogged by delays over land disputes and opposition from residents.

The project includes a new pitch, stand, changing rooms, shops, cafe bar, function suites and a museum. But more than 3000 signatures were gathered in opposition to the scheme.

The foundation may still face problems over a so-called “ransom strip”, a narrow piece of land in front of the shops which it does not own.

One opponent of the scheme said he was surprised work has started without clarity on funding and while the ransom strip has not been resolved.

Raeburn Place hosted the first ever international rugby match on 27 March 1871. It is thought this was the first international sporting fixture of any kind.

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