Work starts to construct six-court indoor centre at Oriam at Heriot-Watt University

2nd September 2022 By Clark Contracts Ltd


The Transforming Scotland’s Indoor Tennis (TSIT) project took another significant step forward this week as construction started on six indoor tennis courts at Oriam, Scotland’s Sports Performance Centre at Heriot-Watt University’s Edinburgh campus. This will be one of the largest indoor tennis centres built in the UK in recent years.


Main Contractor, Clark Contracts, has now broke ground on the ambitious development, with the tennis centre scheduled to open its doors next summer, primarily serving the communities of West Edinburgh, Midlothian, West Lothian and Fife. It will be an inclusive, accessible and affordable facility providing more opportunities for people to play tennis.


The £4.5m project represents more progress on improving Scotland’s indoor tennis infrastructure, with work under way on a £1.6m TSIT development operated by Moray Sports Centre in Elgin.


This reaffirms the shared commitment of the TSIT partners – LTA, sportscotland and Tennis Scotland – to meet the demand for indoor tennis facilities across the country.


Oriam is a world-class multi-sport performance facility that is open and accessible to all levels of athletes, as well as the local and student communities.


The new facility will adjoin Oriam’s existing complex, which already boasts full size indoor and outdoor synthetic pitches, seven grass pitches, 12-court and four-court multi-sport halls, public and performance gyms, hydropool, physiotherapy clinic plus many more. Once completed, the new courts will increase Oriam’s footprint by 4,000sqm.


Ross Campbell, Executive Director at Oriam, says the aim of the new courts is to encourage more people to pick up a racket, particularly from the local community as well as staff and students at Heriot-Watt University.


“We are delighted to be breaking ground on this high-profile project,” he said.


“I would like to extend my thanks to our partners the LTA, sportscotland and Tennis Scotland for their continued support and investment. This tennis facility is another sign, alongside our high-profile partners and the development of our new academic programmes, that Heriot-Watt is an ambitious sporting university.


“Once opened, Oriam will be a destination for tennis for our students and local community but also nationally and we look forward to delivering this successful project in late summer 2023.”


Mel Young MBE, Chair of sportscotland said: “This is not only a significant development for tennis but for the wider sporting system in Scotland. It is fantastic to see our partnership with Oriam and Heriot-Watt delivering additional world-class sporting facilities, building on Oriam’s reputation as a place where community, student and performance sport can thrive together.


“These are exceptionally challenging times for everyone, and I must commend our partners for their continued commitment to delivering on our shared ambition to improve indoor tennis facilities across Scotland. This is not just about the bricks and mortar; it’s about creating an environment where people can enjoy the sport of tennis and progress to whatever level they aspire to. That’s a really exciting prospect and I look forward to seeing the progress of Oriam, Moray and other TSIT projects.


Scott Lloyd, Chief Executive of the LTA, said: “We are very pleased that work has begun on the site at Oriam. This continues the momentum from the project recently started at Moray Sports Centre, Elgin as we pursue our vision to open up tennis to many more people. The LTA remains committed to working with our partners in Scotland to increase the number of indoor courts across the country in the years to come.”


Blane Dodds, Tennis Scotland Chief Executive, explained what this latest development would mean for the sport in Scotland. He said: “This is another significant milestone in our efforts to enhance the indoor tennis provision across Scotland via the Transforming Scottish Indoor Tennis fund.


“The new courts will ensure the East of Scotland has access to year-round tennis facilities which will ultimately increase opportunities for participation, competition as well as player and coach development.


“This is an important year for Scottish tennis as we prepare to host the Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup both of which will undoubtedly inspire many more people to take up the sport and facilities like this will ensure they have world-class facilities to play in.”


Michael Scanlan, Director at Clark Contracts, added, “We are delighted to be working with Heriot-Watt University again, and in partnership with Oriam, LTA, sportscotland and Tennis Scotland, to deliver this exciting project which will enhance the university and Oriam’s reputation in sport, and provide world-class facilities for students and the local community. It has been great to mark the start of the construction with all the partners involved, and we are looking forward to seeing works progress over the coming months.”

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