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Edinburgh council leader gets behind FaulknerBrowns' Sighthill arena scheme

FaulknerBrowns' £53 million Sighthill arena scheme in Edinburgh looks set to be revived after the council leader said she had been convinced by the proposals.

Liberal Democrat leader Jenny Dawe has stated her backing for the move to raze Meadowbank Stadium, and build a new athletics and rugby ground at Sighthill Park.

The announcement comes just weeks after fellow Lib Dem councillor Jim Lowrie claimed that the project was 'dead in the water' ( Edinburgh Council refuses to endorse leader's attack on FaulknerBrowns scheme ).

The plans to replace Meadowbank with flats have becoming an increasingly sensitive subject, with campaigners protesting vehemently against the move.

Even the likes of former 1,500m World Champion Steve Cram and ex-Scottish rugby international Scott Hastings have shown their opposition to the plans.

Cram believes the current stadium should be refurbished, while Hastings is against fans being separated from the pitch by an athletics track at the new Sighthill ground.

However, protests have fallen on deaf ears, and Dawe has admitted the plans may be the only way to provide better sporting facilities.

Speaking to the Edinburgh Evening News, Dawe said: 'Although it may not be necessary for Edinburgh to have national sports facilities here, particularly if Glasgow wins the Commonwealth Games, I don't think there is any doubt that a capital city should have regional sports facilities equipped to a modern-day standard.

'That's clearly not the case at Meadowbank at the moment and we need to look seriously at how to address that.'

by Richard Vaughan

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