Construction of six, state-of-the-art, indoor tennis courts at Oriam has reached the halfway point with the project on schedule to complete in late summer.
The Oriam Indoor Tennis Centre, or Oriam ITC, will adjoin the existing sports facility located at Heriot-Watt University’s Edinburgh campus.
Ground was broken on the £4.5m project in September 2022 and an impressive steel framework now arches over the 4000sq/m site. It is being funded in partnership between Oriam, Heriot-Watt University, the LTA, sportscotland and Tennis Scotland through the Transforming Scottish Indoor Tennis (TSIT) fund.
This state-of-the-art facility will not only enhance our athletic programs but also bring significant benefits to the wider community
Chris Sellar, Head of Delivery, at Oriam, said: “I’m thrilled we’ve now reached this key milestone in the construction phase of our new indoor tennis centre. It will not only serve as a hub for the local community to engage in the sport but provide a high-quality event venue and training ground for our athletes. We look forward to the completion of this project and the countless opportunities it will bring to Oriam and Heriot-Watt University.”
Chris added: “Another key milestone for the project is the recent recruitment of Danny Curtis into the Head Tennis Coach role. Danny arrives with a wealth of experience in the sport and we’re delighted to have his energy and drive to build a new tennis programme at Oriam for the community.“
Danny has over 25 years’ experience in the sport and joins Oriam as Head Tennis Coach, a new post created through Oriam ITC. He will lead the Oriam tennis programme, providing LTA Youth, junior and adult tennis classes for the community.
On his appointment, Danny said: “I’m delighted to join the Oriam team. The opportunity to build something from the ground up at a facility such as Oriam was too big to pass up. Once complete, this fantastic new facility will be a haven for tennis for all levels and abilities. Our ambition is to encourage as many people as possible to visit Oriam and to pick up a racket.”
The courts are being constructed with the latest technology and will have some of the finest acrylic playing surfaces found anywhere in the country, suitable for both recreational and competitive matches. In addition, the Centre will be used by Tennis Scotland and will be home to Heriot-Watt’s tennis club as well as students and players from the local community.
Courts will be available for the community to book on a pay as you play basis with Oriam set to deliver a comprehensive junior and adult coaching programme for players of all ages and abilities. Oriam will also work closely with a network of clubs, coaches and organisations to develop the sport locally, and provide opportunities for groups, including local schools, to experience the indoor tennis centre.
Developer, Clark Contracts, is working with Oriam to ensure the new facility meets the highest standards of quality and safety. The Centre marks a significant addition to Oriam’s already impressive roster of sports facilities that includes seven grass football pitches, hydropool and public and performance gyms.
It will primarily serve the communities of West Edinburgh, Midlothian, West Lothian and Fife, and comes as calls grow for additional world-class tennis amenities to be made available to the public.
On behalf of the TSIT partners, Mel Young MBE, Chair of sportscotland, said: “It’s fantastic to see the progress being made on the indoor tennis centre at Oriam.
“Together with our partners, the LTA and Tennis Scotland, our ambition is to build a network of indoor tennis facilities in priority areas across Scotland to grow the game. Oriam is one of two TSIT projects scheduled to open this year and will play a significant role in helping us to realise our ambitions for tennis. We look forward to seeing the first players on court later this year.”
The project enhances Heriot-Watt’s growing reputation in the sports sector having launched a Sport and Exercise Science degree programme in partnership with Oriam last year, combining cutting edge teaching with world-leading sports facilities.
Professor Mark Biggs, Vice-Principal and Provost at Heriot-Watt University said: “This state-of-the-art facility will not only enhance our athletic programs but also bring significant benefits to the wider community. With six new indoor courts, we will be able to host top-talent and national tournaments all-year round for the public to experience as well as be available for the wider community in a way that reflects Heriot-Watt’s mission to serve its communities.
“We are excited to see the positive impact this project will have and look forward to welcoming athletes and the public more widely to this impressive new facility.”