New kart centre for Scotland 14 | 10 | 2010

    A NEW KARTING centre, which has the potential to generate Scotland's next Formula One driver to follow Bathgate's Paul di Resta, has been given the green light to be developed on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

    The indoor racetrack is planned for a 42,000sq/ft warehouse in Newbridge Industrial Estate, and Falkirk entrepreneurs Barrie and Scott Henderson — the men behind Xtreme Karting which secured permission for the go-ahead — can't wait to get started.

    "We were delighted to be granted permission to expand our company into Edinburgh, and see Newbridge as the perfect location," Barrie, who with Scott has been running their Larbert centre since October 2004, said. "It has a fantastic catchment area and transport links from Edinburgh as well as the whole of the Central Belt of Scotland.

    "We take a lot of pride in being the only karting centre in Scotland to achieve the five star status from the tourist board, and we will be aiming to ensure the new facility meets the same high standards."

    The new centre — which is set to create around 25 new full and part-time jobs — will use Rimo Evo karts, similar to those used at the Michael Schumacher Kart and Events Centre in Germany. Di Resta (pictured), currently Force India F1 test and reserve driver, but tipped to graduate to a full race seat next season, learned his trade in karts before switching to single-seaters.

    Work at the state-of-the-art indoor centre is scheduled to get under way within the next month. The industrial building which will house the complex has lain empty since its construction 10 years ago.

    In addition to a trackside viewing area, first floor viewing area as well as toilets, offices and a mechanics area, the indoor centre will feature a viewing lounge, reception area, briefing and meeting rooms.

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    Jim McGill

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