Scotland’s sports Minister officially opened Oriam Indoor Tennis Centre today at Heriot-Watt University.
A plaque marking the arrival of the £4.5m facility was unveiled by Maree Todd MSP and Prof. Richard A. Williams, Principal and Vice Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University.
To mark the occasion, a group of around 100 boys and girls from local primary schools were invited to a fun-filled morning of tennis activities under the expert tutelage of Oriam’s Tennis Manager, Danny Curtis. They were joined by representatives from partner organisations and guests involved in the ambitious project.
Work began on the Indoor Tennis Centre (ITC) in September 2022 and doors were opened to the public in December last year. It has been funded in partnership between Oriam, Heriot-Watt University, the LTA, LTA Tennis Foundation, sportscotland and Tennis Scotland through the Transforming Scottish Indoor Tennis (TSIT) fund.
Giving her reaction to the ITC, Maree Todd, Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport at the Scottish Government, said “I’m very pleased to mark the official opening of this world-class indoor tennis facility. It will have a positive impact on the local and student communities, providing more and better opportunities to play tennis all year round, in an affordable, inclusive space.
“Being active has a positive impact on health and wellbeing, and facilities such as this will help us achieve our vision of an active Scotland where everyone benefits from sport and physical activity for their physical, mental and social health.
“Through sportscotland, the Scottish Government has backed improvements in facilities with more than £235 million over the last 20 years – including a significant investment in the Transforming Scottish Indoor Tennis Fund.”
The ITC’s arrival delivers a welcome boost to tennis in the area for the local community and future Scottish Tennis athletes. The new centre is already home to the Oriam Tennis Programme and the Heriot-Watt University Tennis Club, hosting all their classes, training and competitions. These facilities have the potential to be a major asset for the future of Tennis in Scotland and further sporting partnerships are sure to flourish as the centre becomes established in the area.
Ross Campbell, Executive Director of Oriam, said: “It is testament to the hard work and dedication of the project team here at Oriam working alongside our partners that we can now celebrate the addition of this wonderful facility to Oriam’s roster of first-class facilities.
“Since opening late last year, we have had an overwhelmingly positive reaction from the tennis community and I look forward to welcoming more players to these courts in the months and years to come.
“The arrival of the ITC is a commitment to Scotland’s sporting success and I’d encourage anyone, at any level, who is interested in tennis to get in touch to book a court or to find out more about our classes.”
There have been growing calls for Scotland to develop additional top-level tennis facilities to service the demand from players across the country. The arrival of Oriam ITC is helping cater to this need locally and encouraging participation in the sport.
Scott Lloyd, Chief Executive of the LTA, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership to improve tennis facilities in Scotland and to provide more opportunities for anyone to pick up a racket and get active.
“We want to ensure local communities have a range of accessible opportunities to get on court as part of our vision to see ‘tennis opened up’ to many more people. The opening of the state-of-the-art Oriam Indoor Tennis Centre is a significant milestone in that respect and we continue to look for further opportunities throughout Scotland.”
Forbes Dunlop, Chief Executive of sportscotland, said “This new indoor tennis centre at Oriam is a fantastic example of what can be delivered when we work in partnership across the sporting sector.
“Our aim with the TSIT fund was to improve year-round access to tennis in key areas across Scotland and this is a significant milestone in that journey. I look forward to seeing the impact it has for the sport, and for the local and student communities.”
Blane Dodds, Chief Executive of Tennis Scotland, said: “The opening of the Oriam Indoor Tennis Centre comes at a time when the appetite for our sport has never been higher, with club membership in Scotland at record levels and participation numbers increasing significantly.
“The facility will provide a superb venue for coaching, competitions and community programmes, all of which will create more opportunities for people to play tennis and develop their skills all year round.
“Working alongside our partners, we will continue to make the case for investing in new and existing venues to ensure tennis remains a growing, healthy sport and one that is welcoming and accessible to all.”
Oriam ITC is open seven-days-a-week from 6:30am to 10pm Mon-Fri and 8am-8pm Sat and 8am-10pm Sun. Courts are available for players of all ages and abilities on a pay-as-you-play (PAYP) basis, meaning membership to Oriam is not required and helping ensure as many people as possible can access the sport.
These can be booked up to 14 days in advance online, via the Oriam app or at the Oriam Reception Desk. Oriam members benefit from a 20% discount on all PAYP tennis bookings.
A website for Oriam ITC is now available where further information on the Centre, including how to book, can be found.
Photographed L to R: Forbes Dunlop, CEO sportscotland; Sophie Curthoys, Head of Facility Investment LTA; Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport; Prof. Richard A. Williams, Principle and Vice Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University; Blane Dodds CEO Tennis Scotland and Ross Campbell Executive Director Oriam.