World of football excelling in Edinburgh after £1m from HSBC

Paul DeMarco

World of football excelling in Edinburgh after £1m from HSBC

Marco’s Leisure, a third-generation family business, has exceeded expected footfall and attracted major new businesses as a result of a £1m funding package from HSBC.

The business has thrived following the opening of a World of Football centre in Granton, Edinburgh, last year. The seven-figure finance from HSBC supported the site’s development and enabled the business to create 20 new jobs including operational roles such as managers, supervisors, receptionists, cleaners and pitch maintenance personnel for the local economy.

Six months after its launch, the facility has grown its customer base, including Hearts captain Christopher Berra, and his Box Soccer Training school. Some of these sessions are available free of charge to introduce the local community to the new facility.

As well as providing local football clubs such as Cramond, Hutchinson Vale and Spartans with grounds for regular training, the business is also working with Edinburgh College to provide students with the use of the facility to further aid their development.

The football facility in Marine Drive, is the second World of Football centre owned by Marco’s Leisure in Edinburgh and includes six state-of-the-art dome covered five-a-side pitches, two uncovered outdoor seven-a-side pitches, two uncovered five-a-side pitches and changing room facilities.

Marco’s Leisure is owned by the Demarco family, one of Edinburgh’s oldest sports and leisure operators, having owned various business entities before opening a snooker club in Morningside in 1975.

Andrew Little, HSBC head of business banking in Scotland, said: “We were more than pleased to support Marco’s Leisure in its next business venture. It’s great to see a family-run company fulfill its growth potential and generate 20 jobs in Scotland, which is an example of the flourishing business landscape we currently have here.”

Paul DeMarco, managing director at Marco’s Leisure, added: “The financial support received from HSBC has been incredibly helpful, allowing us to achieve our business growth ambitions as a family. World of Football provides unique facilities within Edinburgh and we’re thrilled to be establishing a new site at Marine Drive.”

The finance was allocated from HSBC’s national £10bn SME fund to actively support UK SMEs. £500m is designated specifically to support Scottish firms.

Edinburgh-based Marco’s Leisure currently operates a World of Football site on New Market Road. The space, previously an agricultural market, comprises 11 covered football pitches (10 five-a-side and one seven-a-side), a 12 lane ten pin bowling facility, a snooker hall plus a bar and coffee shop which is coupled with the Corn Exchange Complex.