Scots Rugby bosses plan to uproot war memorial to make room for luxury hotel

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SCOTTISH rugby bosses have admitted their plans to build a luxury six floor hotel at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield stadium may mean uprooting a memorial for the war dead.

The Murrayfield clock tower was put up in 1929 as a memorial to the 31 Scottish rugby players who lost their lives in the Great War.

The monument has already been moved in the early 90s – when the stadium and surrounding area underwent an extensive £50m redevelopment.

But now yet more new plans for a luxury hotel have been unveiled – and could see the vast stone memorial shifted to a new location once more.

The revelation has led veterans to urge developers to consult with the local community before undertaking any work on the memorial – which is frequently at the centre of remembrance events.

Scottish Rugby has plans to build a hotel – with up to 200 rooms – on the land adjacent to the main entrance to the stadium.

Scotland Rugby are behind the plans
Scottish Rugby are behind the plans

Early plans indicate that the hotel could be a three or four star establishment – to be used by visiting VIPs.

Scottish Rugby chiefs have emphasised that the plans are at an early stage.

They also said they were keeping an “open mind” with regard to the design and style of the facility.

The London-based JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group have now been appointed to find investors and operators for the planned hotel.

Kevin Gray CEO at Legion Scotland, said: “War memorials play a vital role in society, offering people a place to reflect and pay tribute to all those who lost their lives fighting for their country.

“Plans for the hotel are in the early stages, however if the war memorial at Murrayfield does need to be moved we would urge developers to work with the local community to identify an appropriate location so that people can continue to pay their respects to the 31 Scottish international players who died during the First World War.

Discussing the new development, Scottish Rugby’s chief executive, Mark Dodson, commented: “This is part of our continuing aim to improve the facilities and enhance the customer experience at BT Murrayfield.

“It will help us to develop and diversify our revenue streams for the benefit of Scottish Rugby as a whole.”

Keith McBain, director of JLL, said: “Edinburgh’s hotel market is flourishing and this is a unique opportunity to develop a hotel in a prominent location.

“BT Murrayfield is the home of Scottish Rugby and very well located. We expect a high level of interest from investors and operators in developing the site.”

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