Surf’s up: milestone for £55m leisure destination as construction begins

CONSTRUCTION work has commenced at the £55 million leisure and staycation destination, Wavegarden Scotland, in Ratho, near Edinburgh.

The development will be the country’s first inland surfing destination using ‘revolutionary’ new technology.

The destination is expected to open to the public in summer 2024 and has been tipped to create up to 130 jobs, generate up to £11 million for the local economy, and attract over 180,000 visitors each year.

Civil engineering and groundworks specialist Malcolm Construction has been appointed to build the project which will include – in addition to Scotland’s first surf park – a surf school, overnight accommodation, a waterfront café and restaurant and retail spaces.

Doig+Smith will oversee the management of the project and have enlisted support from environmental design consultants Atelier Ten, architects Oberlanders, landscape architects HarrisonStevens, engineering consultants Ramage Young and property experts Colliers.

Andy Hadden, founder of Tartan Leisure Ltd, which is developing Wavegarden Scotland, said, “It has taken many years of hard work and collaboration to get to this point and we could not be happier to see work begin on Scotland’s first inland surf park. There has been extensive preparatory work going on behind the scenes with financial backers and with our design team and partners to ensure that this new facility will be a world-class leisure destination.

“Beginning construction work is a special moment for all of the team and marks a major milestone in our journey. All of the firms appointed to work with us come with strong reputations in their respective field of engineering and project management and I am pleased they share our vision to deliver one of Scotland’s largest leisure attractions this century.”

Walter Malcolm, MD of Malcolm Construction, added, “Everyone at Malcolm Construction is excited to be part of this innovative project. We have extensive experience of delivering complex engineering works and we look forward to working with the Wavegarden Scotland team to deliver such an important attraction for Scotland.”

Gordon McLintock, director of Doig+Smith, commented, “We have been providing project management, cost management, principal designer and supervisor services for the project so it’s incredibly exciting to see the project start to become a reality. We have extensive experience in large scale projects such as this including the new Port of Aberdeen project, substantial works over many years at both Glasgow and Edinburgh airports, and multiple education projects across the country in both the private and public sectors. We consider it a privilege to be part of the team bringing Scotland’s first inland surf park to life.”

The development, set within a 60-acre country park, will use the latest wave generation technology called The Cove, developed by Wavegarden in Spain.