Funding to support ice rinks mitigate impact of pandemic
Two ice rinks in Dumfries and Galloway are set to receive vital funding from Sportscotland.
Stranraer Ice Rink at North West Castle Hotel will receive £97,000 while the South of Scotland Ice Rink Club based at Lockerbie will be given £50,000 to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic and, crucially, ensure they are able to reopen safely when the time is right.
Douglas McMillan of the ice rink in Stranraer was delighted at receiving the funding.
He said: “The McMillan family at North West Castle is delighted with this Ice Rink Support Fund grant which will allow us to take the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe when we reopen.
“It will also help secure the future of curling in South West Scotland which feeds the country with way more than its fair share of champions at every level of the sport.”
Mr McMillan added that North West Castle was the first hotel in the world to have its own indoor curling rink and continues to attract visitors throughout the winter from all over Scotland and beyond.
He said: “On top of our schools, juniors, ladies, wheelchair, club and competitive curling we hope to use the facility to attract social/family groups looking for an authentic Scottish experience by trying their hand at the Roarin’ Game.”
Twelve ice rinks in Scotland will receive a combined £1.75m which Scottish Curling CEO Bruce Crawford said will help sustain independent ice rinks into the future.
He added: “We are focussed now on the job of getting people back into the ice rinks at the start of next season, after what for most will have been an 18-month break.
“The coming season is critical for curling as it sees the Olympic and Paralympic Games in February and March 2022, putting the spotlight on the sport and helping to attract new people to our great game which originated in Scotland in the 1500s.”
Galloway and West Dumfries MSP FInlay Carson said: “As a keen curler myself I cannot wait to getting back on the ice at the earliest opportunity, so this funding is great news for the sport.
“Curling in my constituency is an important sport, not least because we have the wonderful ability to produce so many world champions over the years.”