Edinburgh on track to become Scotland’s watersports hub
Plans have began to move forwards for city residents and businesses to considers the proposal put forward by developers Tartan Leisure.
Edinburgh could soon become Scotland’s go-to destination for watersports, if new plans go ahead.
Tartan Leisure founders Scott Brewster and Andrew Hadden aim to create the ultimate ‘’adventure leisure destination’’ by transforming disused Craigpark Quarry near Ratho into an artificial lake.
By utilizing wave-forming technology by Wavegarden, waves that reach up to 1.9 meters high can be produced. To do so, a piece of naval architecture used in boating known as a hydrofoil is driven through the water on a motorised track, creating a seemingly natural wave that can be altered to suit varying abilities.
In an interview with the BBC, Hadden claims this ‘’thrilling new concept’’ could propel Scotland forward as a leading water-sports destination in the UK.
“It will be an area of natural beauty, and a wonderful place to escape and relax for all age groups,” he said.
On Friday, 27 February, locals were invited to the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena (EICA), to learn more about the project.
Tartan Leisure have thus far received positive feedback from the public and local councils, and aim to bring something exciting to the community.
Watersports have been steadily growing in popularity as it was announced that surfing would feature at the Tokyo 2020 games.
According to the Scottish Surging Federation (SFF), surfing has grown significantly in popularity, along with a variety of other activities. It has established a widening market for watersports in Scotland, as businesses and developers look to expand on the growing culture.
Lee Castelle, a local business entrepreneur, has capitalised on the growing trend.
“My business focuses on the refurbishing of Jet-skis and selling them on for summer use,” he said. “What started as a hobby has turned in to a business through the attention and demand we received. Watersports in Scotland has always been around, it’s just that no one knew about it.”
Tartan Leisure will look to do the same by including other water-based activities in their plans for Ratho, such as bodyboarding, surf kayaking, and standup paddle boarding.
The surf park will be situated opposite the EICA. Plans also include lodges, car parks and retail outlets. It is forecast that it will bring a number of employment opportunities and a major boost to the local economy.
Councillor Gavin Barrie, convener of City of Edinburgh Council’s Economic Development Committee, told the press: “The Wavegarden Scotland project appears an exciting addition to active participant sport in the Edinburgh area. Anything that encourages people, whether young or old to lead an active lifestyle and enjoy the benefits that come with it is likely to garner support across the city.
“Hopefully others will share the enthusiasm for the development.”