Being built right now in the quarry that provided the late 19th century stone for many of London’s kerbstones is a giant indoor rock climbing hall, an adventure sports gym, a retail plaza, and offices.
As well as incorporating the National Rock Climbing Centre of Scotland and the National Judo Academy, the Ratho centre will also feature an MTB skills course and road bike facilities.
The Adventure Sports Gym will offer sport-specific training programmes for cyclists as well as skiers, rock climbers and mountaineers, kayakers, snowboarders, and other outdoor sports, all aided by the relevant governing bodies and sports experts.
The Centre's strength and conditioning machinery, provided by Cybex International UK Ltd, incorporates one of most comprehensive ranges of health and sports specific training equipment in the UK.
Ratho will be home to the largest climbing arena in the world, sporting 2400m² of artificial wall surfaces including over 400m² of bouldering area. There will also be an indoor natural rock climbing wall, part of the original quarry.
Upon its completion in January 2002 the training facilties of the Ratho centre will comply with the criteria for Olympic Accreditation, and will form an integral part of the Scottish Institute of Sports Elite sports training systems.
The Scottish Cycle Union, CTC and the Scottish Cycling Development Project all have a presence at the centre.
Ratho is costing £7.5m to build and has been supported by a £1.5m award from the SportScotland Lottery Fund.
Running costs funding is being sought through sponsorship and any companies wishing to lodge interest should contact BDS Sponsorship Ltd (one of Europe's leading sponsorship consultancies) on tel: 0207 6893333 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are plans for 900sq m of outdoor sports retailing at the centre, much of it taken by Tisos, the company with the ‘retail theatre’ outlets in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The Glasgow shop has a concession from Alpine Bikes.
Companies seeking a new corporate HQ in a unique setting (and who don’t need too much room) could squeeze into one of the business units. 1,350 sq m of office space will be let.
The centre is close to Edinburgh's International Airport and spitting distance from the large motorway interchange linking Glasgow, Livingston, Edinburgh, Stirling and Perth.
And for those who want to cycle to work Boulder-Colorado-style, the Ratho centre is on Scotland's Millennium Link, a £31 million project that provides an uninterrupted canal (and towpath) cross country route, via the Union Canal from Edinburgh and Glasgow. Once at the centre there are 110 bike parking spaces and, of course, showering facilities.
More details can be found on the Ratho centre’s website, http://www.nrcc.co.uk.