Oriam is Scotland's national performance centre for sport, based at Heriot-Watt University's Riccarton campus in Edinburgh. The Scottish Rugby Union and the Scottish Football Association use it as a training facility, as do Heart of Midlothian F.C. for first-team training and to run their academy. It is also used by other sports teams, students and members of the public.


A review of Scottish football, led by former First Minister of Scotland Henry McLeish, picked up on the lack of facilities in Scotland in the first report published in April 2010.[1] In February 2012, Sport Minister Shona Robison announced that £25 million from the Scottish Government's Young Scots Fund would be put towards a new multi-sports centre which would include a national football academy.[2] Universities, colleges and local authorities were invited to bid.[3] By August 2013 there were three finalists.[4] In September 2013, it was announced that the design by Reiach & Hall was chosen.[5][6] The remaining £9 million towards the cost of building came from sportscotland, Heriot-Watt University and the City of Edinburgh Council.[7]

Construction work began in March 2015.[8] The £33 million facility opened in August 2016. The indoor football pitch is covered by a curved steel frame with a PVC roof,[9] the shape of which has been likened to the trajectory of "the goal which defied physics" which was scored by Brazilian football player Roberto Carlos against France in 1997.[10][11][12] The building won the Future Building section at the 2016 Scottish Design Awards.[13][14]


The Scottish Rugby Union and the Scottish Football Association have both made long-term commitments to using Oriam ahead of international fixtures.[15] Heart of Midlothian F.C. use the facility to run their academy and for first-team training.[16] The Scottish Handball Association, basketballscotland and Scottish Netball also use the facility.[17] Furthermore, it is used by the recently formed professional women’s team in basketball and handball, both launched in summer 2016.[18] Unlike some elite performance facilities, Oriam will be available to other sports teams, students and members of the public.[19][20] For the 2016–17 season, Hibernian F.C. will play their under-20 fixtures at Oriam.[15]


The centre has a FIFA-accredited indoor synthetic 3G pitch which is the largest of its type in Europe.[11][21][22][23][24] Its dimensions of 116 yards by 76 yards are the same size as those of Hampden Park's pitch.[12][15][25][26] At the midpoint of this playing space, the roof is 28m high and there is a 15m playing height at the sides.[15] The space accommodates a viewing area that can seat 500 people.[15] There is also a synthetic pitch outdoors. There are natural surfaces outside too- five grass football pitches and two grass rugby pitches.[12]

Indoors there is a 12-court sports hall, eight squash courts and a four-court sports hall.[27] Other facilities available on the high-performance side of the centre include a HydroWorx 3500i Series hydrotherapy pool with an integrated treadmill, a rehabilitation area and gym area for strength and conditioning.[25]

A 160-bed hotel is to be located on the site, to open in 2017.[12][19]

See alsoEdit

Other indoor football facilities in Scotland:

Coordinates: 55°54′36″N 3°18′56″W / 55.9101°N 3.3156°W / 55.9101; -3.3156


  1. ^ "Major report demands changes to Scottish football". BBC News. 23 April 2010.
  2. ^ "Sport Minister Shona Robison announces plans for £25m national sports centre". Daily Record. 21 February 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Scottish national performance centre for sport to cost £25m". BBC Sport. 21 December 2012.
  4. ^ Waite, Richard (9 August 2013). "Revealed: finalists vying for Scottish national sport centre". Architects' Journal. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  5. ^ Ward, Paul (13 September 2013). "Edinburgh wins £30m National Sports Centre". The Herald. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  6. ^ Donati, Marino (12 September 2013). "Edinburgh wins £30m Scottish national sport centre". Architects' Journal. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  7. ^ "Scotland's £33m world-class sporting centre opens". The Scotsman. 24 August 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  8. ^ "Tennis courts bulldozed for national sports centre". Edinburgh Evening News. 23 March 2015. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  9. ^ "CMS helps deliver Edinburgh's world-class sports performance centre". www.scottishconstructionnow.com. 16 September 2016. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Edinburgh to host Scotland's elite performance sport centre". BBC Sport. 12 September 2013.
  11. ^ a b Davidson, Gina (17 February 2016). "Roberto Carlos' physics-defying goal inspires Oriam stadium". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  12. ^ a b c d Donnelly, Brian (3 September 2016). "Edinburgh hub for Champions League clubs by 2017". The Herald. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  13. ^ "Pop-up gallery, riverfront college and modern languages classrooms lead SDA winners". www.urbanrealm.com. 26 May 2016. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  14. ^ "Scottish Design Awards 2016: Future building: Oriam". www.scottishdesignawards.com. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  15. ^ a b c d e Macpherson, Graeme (21 August 2016). "Inside Oriam: The new centre for sporting excellence that removes excuses from the Scotland equation". The Herald. Glasgow. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  16. ^ "Oriam - The jewel in the crown of Scottish sport". Scottish FA. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  17. ^ Maclean, Ian (8 April 2016). "Lynne hopes new Oriam centre will hand sport a massive boost". Cumbernauld News. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  18. ^ "Maureeen McGonigle: Superb new Oriam facility will boost netball and basketball hopes". The National. 6 August 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  19. ^ a b Dorsey, Kirsty (18 January 2016). "Interview: Catriona McAllister, chief executive of Oriam". The Scotsman. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  20. ^ McCall, Chris (31 March 2016). "Oriam research will benefit Scots athletes and public alike". The Scotsman. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  21. ^ "Heriot Watt University, ORIAM – Pitch 10 indoor". FIFA. Archived from the original on 28 March 2015. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  22. ^ Smith, Andrew (21 August 2016). "Oriam: Sports performance centre to help Scots best – and the rest". The Scotsman. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  23. ^ "Biggest Indoor Pitch in Europe at Oriam, Scotland". www.greenfieldsturf.co.uk (Press release). 23 September 2016. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  24. ^ "Oriam takes shape: A virtual guided tour". www.sportscotland.org.uk (Press release). Sportscotland. 4 May 2016. Archived from the original on 31 October 2016. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  25. ^ a b Reid, Anna (16 December 2015). "Scotland's new £33m centre of sporting excellence". The National. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  26. ^ McCall, Chris (31 March 2016). "Oriam research will benefit Scots athletes and public alike". The Scotsman. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  27. ^ Nicolson, Kaye (29 August 2016). "National sports performance centre officially opens". STV News. Retrieved 16 October 2016.

External linksEdit