First Minister Nicola Sturgeon officially opened Dundee’s £32 million Regional Performance Centre today (Feb 26) as school children and athletes showed how its top class facilities will help develop sporting skills for the future.
The Caird Park campus has been up and running since the end of last year. It hosts a full size indoor 3G football pitch and outdoor 3G ‘rugby sized’ pitch suitable for both rugby and football.
The pitches are designed to meet World Rugby and FIFA compliance standards and already Glasgow Warriors have had a training camp and both Dundee FC and Dundee United FC have trained at the centre.
It also includes eight court multi sports hub building with spectator seating, a strength and conditioning suite and a state-of-the- art-sport science suite.
An indoor athletics centre with an 80m running straight provides all-weather training for athletes, while the outdoor athletics track was resurfaced and a covered spectator area added. The velodrome has also been refreshed with a new area of hardstanding provided for competition, with upgraded floodlighting.
The centre is a partnership between Dundee City Council, Leisure & Culture Dundee and sportscotland
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“Keeping active is one of the best things we can do for our physical and mental health - which is why we want everyone to have the opportunity to take part in sport at whatever level they choose.
“Dundee’s new Regional Performance Centre offers world class facilities and services that will help athletes and sporting professionals develop their skills and inspire future generations to get active and stay active for life.
“I look forward to the official opening and meeting some of the athletes and young people already benefiting from this fantastic new centre.”
An innovative £5 million energy centre which allows a district heating capability was also included in the major construction programme.
Council leader John Alexander said:
“This ambitious project has delivered superb sporting facilities alongside an energy centre that will make a significant contribution to our vision of Dundee as a sustainable city.
“The regional performance centre is already bringing huge benefits for the city and our people and reflects our drive to make Dundee a better place for all.
“It is designed to support athletes in their development and will help improve the health of our population through participation in sport.
“I am delighted that the First Minister has been able to join us in this celebration of our amazing new facility, which has been brought about by close partnership working.”
Young athletes from sportscotland gold schools Clepngton Primary, St Peter & Pauls Primary and Grove Academy showed the First Minister a range of sports in the hub, while the tour will also include the performance suite and the indoor football facility.
Sinclair Aitken, Chair of Leisure & Culture Dundee, said:
"RPC Dundee provides facilities that we can all be proud of in this region. The new centre means that we can maximise the potential of athletes, coaches and officials and help everyone involved in sport, be the best they can be.
“The facilities will primarily be used by local sports people and clubs creating increased opportunities for participation, development and progression which is something we particularly welcome. We can’t wait to manage RPC Dundee and take sport to a new level for current and future generations."
The RPC is also home to sportscotland’s Tayside and Fife sporting partnership and a specialist team of sportscotland institute of sport staff providing bespoke services to athletes training for some of the world’s top sporting events including the Olympics and Paralympics.
Mel Young CBE, Chair of sportscotland said:
“The RPC Dundee is another piece of the jigsaw in our National and Regional facilities strategy and is already providing a fantastic training environment for athletes across Tayside and Fife.
“We have worked closely with our partners in Dundee City Council to support the delivery of this ambitious multi-sport hub providing expertise through our facilities and sportscotland institute of sport teams, backed by £6.5 million of National Lottery investment.
“I am sure it will be a real asset in developing sport in Dundee, and the wider community, for many years to come.”