POLICE Scotland has raised "significant concerns" about the safety of Hearts new stand at Tynecastle which led to delayed kick-offs at recent matches.

The force have written to Edinburgh City Council's public safety department highlighting fears over increased risk of pitch incursions, crowd build-up and tension caused by the directors' box having "no delineation from the rest of the stand", lighting issues in different parts of the ground, and no water in certain sections.

The 20,000 capacity ground has been beset by problems in the three games that have been played in front of the new £12 million main stand.

Kick-off was delayed for the Edinburgh side's first match back against Partick Thistle on November 19 over a turnstile issue.

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A fire alarm triggered by a kitchen sensor caused another delay before last Saturday's game against Hamilton.

There were also problems with the floodlights during the 0-0 draw with Ross County on 25 November, caused by the electricity supply.

Hearts were given a temporary occupation certificate only on the morning of the Partick game after a last-ditch scramble to finish redevelopment work, which was originally scheduled to have been completed by early September.

The letter from a senior Police Scotland officer to Edinburgh City Council said: "Given the incidents in the previous three matches, I now have significant concerns over the reliability of electrical systems within Tynecastle Park.

"Electrical failings impact on public safety with evacuations and delayed kick-offs as evidenced in recent matches.

"This has an impact in the wider public space with persons queuing or being evacuated onto roads and the wider public space."

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Police Scotland believe the likelihood of further emergency or evacuation procedures "to have increased significantly", forcing them to "re-categorise the risk associated with subsequent matches at a higher grade" and review the number of police and stewards.

But following talks at the stadium between Hearts, the police and council officials, the Edinburgh club insist they are preparing to welcome Motherwell FC this weekend.

A Hearts spokesperson said: “Heart of Midlothian Football Club can confirm that it was contacted by Edinburgh City Council with regards to a letter sent to them by Police Scotland.

“The letter expressed some concerns regarding general security following a number of unrelated incidents at the first three games held at Tynecastle Park.

“Following a satisfactory outcome to a meeting held today (Thursday) at the stadium, attended by all parties, the club is looking forward to welcoming Motherwell Football Club to Tynecastle Park this Saturday.”

A spokesperson for the City of Edinburgh Council said: “The safety of everyone attending matches is paramount and the Council is working with Hearts and their contractors to ensure that the matters raised by Police Scotland are addressed.

“As work in the Stadium is ongoing, contingency measures are being put in place to reinforce safety procedures, while temporary occupation certificates and general safety certificates will continue to be issued on a match-by-match basis.”

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A spokesman for the SPFL said: "We have been in contact with Hearts, who are already liaising with Police Scotland and Edinburgh City Council regarding this issue.

“Hearts have undertaken to keep us up to date with developments and we will continue to monitor the situation closely."

Meanwhile, Rangers have been given the go-ahead to build a new training complex for their youth players.

The Ibrox club applied to construct the new building at their Murray Park training ground in Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire.

They said it was needed to create more room for young players as space was restricted at their current building.

The back of the new 216 metres square complex will include a stand for spectators to watch youth games held at Murray Park and new floodlights will also be erected.

The club submitted an application to East Dunbartonshire Council earlier this year and it has now been granted by planning officials.