Building work has begun on a new £2.5million extension at the Sighthill campus as part of the University’s partnership with BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy.
The Academy is one of a number of Scottish Rugby Academies that nurture young talent and develop future rugby stars.
The new two-storey sports centre extension will host a multi-use strength and conditioning gym, rehabilitation space and studio research facility.
As well as providing the academy players with a fully-equipped, state-of-the-art gym and rehab spaces – including a 30m running track on the ground floor – a second-level studio facility will provide an area where students and academic staff can undertake research projects.
The University already boasts one of the UK’s leading biomechanic labs, which includes an exercise physiology lab, and features an environment chamber that simulates altitude, humidity, and hot and cold conditions.
Professor Andrea Nolan, Edinburgh Napier University, said: “Over the past six months, we have been developing plans for the new facilities at the University so we are excited to see the build off to a flying start.
“The centre will offer students, staff and the local community state-of-the-art gym facilities, as well as providing the academy players with the amenities they need to improve and progress their skills.
“It will also be the University’s centre for development and provision of clinical exercise programmes, and research into exercise and cancer survivorship.
“We look forward to the long term benefits this project will bring for the University and the surrounding area.”
Graeme Beveridge, BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy Manager, Edinburgh, said: “Edinburgh Napier University has been home to our academy for several months now and our players are enjoying the experience of being on campus.
“The new facilities will provide us with the additional equipment and space required to develop our ambitious young players into world-class athletes.”
The building works are due to be complete in late Spring 2016.
As well as the launch of the Academy, the University is also developing its academic work within sport, with eight coaches recently starting the University’s Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Performance Enhancement in Rugby Coaching (level 4, accredited by Sports Coach UK) in partnership with Scottish Rugby.
An online undergraduate degree for elite athletes will launch in the New Year (2016).
Sighthill was the third BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy venue to be launched.
It followed the announcements of the Caledonia Academy at Hillhead Sports Campus and Aberdeen Sports Village and the Glasgow and the West Academy at Broadwood Stadium in Cumbernauld.
Picture shows - left to right - Academy player Hugh Fraser, Professor Andrea Nolan and Graeme Beveridge
Jack Mathieson, J.Mathieson@napier.ac.uk, 0131 455 6251