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New multi-million-pound tennis centre opens at Oriam – Scottish Business News

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A CUTTING-EDGE indoor tennis centre opens in Edinburgh today (Dec 29) heralding a promising era of growth for the sport in the region.  

The Oriam Indoor Tennis Centre (ITC) welcomes its first players onto six new courts at Heriot-Watt University this morning. They will be led by competition winner Patrick Dempsey from Currie who had the honour of delivering the opening serve.   

Costing £4.5 million, the impressive 4000sq/m structure has taken around 18 months to construct and 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.  

Work on-site began in September 2022 and it has been built using the latest materials to ensure the courts boast some of the finest acrylic playing surfaces found anywhere in the country, ideal for both recreational and competitive matches.  

Scott Lloyd, Chief Executive of the LTA, said: “We are delighted that this impressive indoor tennis facility at Oriam is now opening. The LTA is committed to continuing to working closely with our partners in Scotland to increase the number of indoor courts across the country in the years to come. With Oriam completed and with Moray Sports Centre in Elgin under construction too, this is a great example of our vision to open up tennis to many more people year-round.”  

Forbes Dunlop, Chief Executive of sportscotland, said: “It is fantastic to see the plan for indoor tennis at Oriam being realised today with the official opening of this magnificent centre.  

“The TSIT fund was established to transform indoor tennis in Scotland and provide more access to the sport. This new centre does exactly that and will not only be a real asset to the sport, but also to Heriot Watt students and the local community.  

“This was a great opportunity to build on the excellent facilities already on offer at Oriam, Scotland’s Sports Performance Centre, and its delivery is testament to the commitment and ambition of our partners.”  

The ITC will also play host to several Tennis Scotland activities to service performance, competition and coach education requirements. 

Blane Dodds, Chief Executive of Tennis Scotland, said: “We know there is a huge appetite for tennis in Scotland, with record club membership and increasing levels of participation, so we welcome the opening of the new six-court indoor centre at Oriam. 

“It is vitally important that we continue to build capacity, allowing us to deliver top-class coaching and competitions, develop our workforce and bring new people into our sport. 

“The impressive facilities at Oriam will help us open tennis up to continue the growth of the game in Scotland, as will the new indoor centre being constructed in Moray.” 

Courts are now available to book 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.  

Oriam ITC is open seven-days-a-week from 6:30am to 10pm Mon-Fri and 8am-8pm Sat and 8am-10pm Sun. Courts 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 full programme of tennis classes is also available with kids and adult sessions already underway, encouraging players from across West Edinburgh, Midlothian, West Lothian and Fife. 

Ross Campbell, Executive Director at Oriam, has spearheaded the project from its inception. He said: “The opening of this fantastic new facility provides a huge boost for tennis in the region.  

“While today is a momentous occasion for everyone connected with Oriam, none of this would have been possible without the support and commitment of our partner organisations. Through close working relationships we were able to successfully deliver this new facility, helping raise the profile of the sport and, ultimately, encourage more people to get active and to pick up a racket.  

“At Oriam ITC there will be further opportunities for aspiring athletes, coaches and players of all abilities while cementing Oriam’s reputation as Scotland’s Sports Performance Centre.”  

The ITC adjoins Oriam’s existing structure along its western boundary giving players convenient access to nearby changing rooms and first-class sporting facilities.  

Oriam was built in 2016 within the grounds of Heriot-Watt’s Edinburgh campus with both organisations working together to support Scotland’s national teams, up-and-coming sports men and women, their coaches and volunteers, to train for competition.  

The arrival of the ITC enhances Heriot-Watt’s growing reputation in the sports sector having launched sports degrees in Sport and Exercise Science, Sport Management and Sport Psychology, in partnership with Oriam. 

Professor Richard A. Williams, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University, said: “The arrival of Oriam ITC is a significant milestone for this University. These six magnificent courts provide a remarkable opportunity for players of all abilities to embrace their passion for tennis and drive forward interest and participation in the sport.  

“Its arrival further boosts Heriot-Watt’s reputation as a sports university and encourages more athletes and students interested in a career in the sector to come to Heriot-Watt where they will receive first-class teaching coupled with access to some of the very best sporting facilities found anywhere in the country.  

“I’m immensely proud that we stand here today with this new Centre now open to the public and I would encourage anyone with an interest in tennis to get in touch.”  

A dedicated website for Oriam ITC  is now available where further information on the Centre, including how to book, can be found. 

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