Edinburgh airport will not foot bill for relocation of showground

In common with many UK airports, Edinburgh airport is planning to expand and aims to be able to deal with 26 million passengers a year by 2030. Currently the airport council is conducting research to see how best to do this. Meanwhile the development plan for expansion is said by the airport to take account of environmental factors and the concerns of the local community.

One casualty of the plans, however, is the Royal Highland Showground which is having to relocate and a row has broken out over just who should foot the bill, expected to be a staggering £353 million. This seemingly astronomical bill is purely a like-for-like estimate, based on expected costs in 2012 and does not include the additions which the Showground would like, such as a 10,000 seater stadium for concerts and conferences, three extra exhibition halls, offices and a 150 room hotel. The previous estimate had been £275 million but after detailed costings were carried out it became clear that this was an underestimate.

The move is being made to a new site at Norton Park on the other side of the A8. RHASS bosses insist that the bill should be footed by BAA but the airport authorities have put their foot down. Funding is unlikely to come from the Department of Transport either, with the Scottish Parliament adamant that the government should not have to step in.

The RHASS is keen for agreement to be reached by the end of the year, in order that building work can start in 2010. They hope to move into their new premises in 2013.

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