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Leith whitewater rafting centre wins political support

September 25 2012

Leith whitewater rafting centre wins political support
Long standing plans to transform Leith’s Victoria Dock into a whitewater rafting centre have secured political support in the form of independent MSP Margo McDonald.

The politician has said she will ask the Scottish Government to provide a financial guarantee to allow the project to progress, making use of her connections with the governing SNP.

Specifically MacDonald believes she can convince finance secretary John Swinney to loosen the purse strings, saying “…he carries a bit of clout and he might be able to explore this with the local authorities because they are naturally very careful and they have budgets to balance.”

Designed by Engineering Paddler Designs the proposed centre would entail draining the existing dock to allow construction of a large tank containing the course.

The indoor centre would boast computer controlled currents and would then allow all-year round canoe and rafting training to be conducted indoors, the first such facility of its kind in Scotland.

A corporate backer is understood to be ready to invest in the scheme but is holding out for a financial guarantee before fully committing.
Backers express confidence that the scheme will become self-financing - but still want government guarantees
Backers express confidence that the scheme will become self-financing - but still want government guarantees
The rafting course would be built to Olympic standard
The rafting course would be built to Olympic standard


Salma Kayak
#1 Posted by Salma Kayak on 25 Sep 2012 at 12:55 PM
Nice idea, but the financial disaster that is the climbing centre at Ratho suggest that these types of adventure sports centres struggle to support themselves long term.
Kayak Duffer
#2 Posted by Kayak Duffer on 25 Sep 2012 at 13:36 PM
Have you ever been to Holm Pierpont or Lee Valley ? neither of which are financial disasters as you suggest
#3 Posted by CadMonkey on 25 Sep 2012 at 15:08 PM
Took me a while to work out where this site was!! Surely not! If it must go in Leith it should be further out into the docks in a less visually important and historical position. I expect this will not be very attractive - kind of an aquatic skateboard park. Why cluster everything into the already developed area. Is there not a Masterplan?
Also, if it is going to be successfull why does it need a financial guarantee from the Scottish Government? If it will enhance the docklands why not get one from Forth Ports?
#4 Posted by dirige on 25 Sep 2012 at 15:39 PM
Ratho isn't the same disaster as it used to be, but I and thousands of other climbers would hate to see it disappear. These kind of schemes offer returns that are more than simply commercial.
Matt Bridgestock
#5 Posted by Matt Bridgestock on 26 Sep 2012 at 22:04 PM
If you are looking for good examples of adventure sports centres that are financially sound and contribute significantly to the local economy then take a look at the Kinlochleven Ice Factor and the Forestry Commission 7 Stanes projects.
I don't know the specifics of the site, and perhaps there are better ones, but there have been a number of kayak centres proposed across Scotland but many suffered from issues with access, this type of facility has a great chance of success so close to people and good transport network.... is it close to a tram stop?


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