Royal Commonwealth Pool splashes back into action
20th March 2012
The Royal Commonwealth Pool (RCP) has formally reopened with in a star-studded celebration featuring swimming and diving legends past and present.
Former Olympic swimming champion David Wilkie performed the honours, declaring the Grade A-listed facility officially open again following its major revamp.
The £37.2m refurbishment by GRAHAM Construction was funded by the City of Edinburgh Council and sportscotland and the RCP is reopening as expected in Spring 2012 after a two and a half year construction project.
The facility reopens fully to the public at 10am on Wednesday 21 March.
The RCP will host the diving events as part of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the British Swimming squad have selected the facility as the venue for their final training camp in July 2012 ahead of the London Olympics.
Compered by former Scotland rugby star Scott Hastings, the official reopening event also included speeches by the Deputy Lord Provost Rob Munn, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Louise Martin CBE, Chair of sportscotland; and Sue Bruce, Chief Executive of the City of Edinburgh Council.
There was a synchronised diving display featuring Commonwealth Games athlete Grace Reid, who was also interviewed poolside by Scott Hastings, together with fellow divers James Heatly and his grandfather Sir Peter Heatly, who took part in the original opening ceremony of the RCP in 1970.
As part of the ceremony, David Wilkie swam the first length in the 50m pool alongside 30 children who won a competition run in the Edinburgh Evening News
He said: "It is a great privilege to be back at the RCP, considering that this is where I did a lot of my training when I was a schoolboy in Edinburgh. This is also the pool where I won my first international cap for Great Britain and won my first major international medal at the 1970 Commonwealth Games.
"I have some fond memories of the place. It’s great to see the ‘old lady’ reformed in all her old glory and to play a part in her reopening."