Kinross Curling

As you may have heard, Kinross Curling Trust have take over the running of the curling facility at the Green Hotel in Kinross.

They are to be applauded for all their efforts in keeping this popular rink alive and we wish them well for the future.

If you want to know more about the recent developments at Kinross, have a read of this press release sent to me by Eileen Thomas from the Trust’s media and fundraising sub-group:

Fresh start for Kinross ice rink

Curling enthusiasts were celebrating in Kinross on Sunday (1 September) as they took over the running of the local curling rink, formerly run as part of the town’s Green Hotel Golf and Leisure Resort.

Members of the Kinross Curling Trust, a charity, intend to renovate the ice rink and run it for the benefit of the local curling community.

Blair Melville, Chairman of Kinross Curling Trust, explained: “The ice rink was built in 1977 and now needs major refurbishment, which the owners are not in a position to carry out. The most urgent issue is the plant: it will be unusable after December 2014, because of EU laws on refrigerant gases. This will mean the closure of the rink unless something is done.”

In order to keep curling in Kinross, the Trust has taken on a 50-year lease of the ice rink, and is busy raising funds and applying for grants to finance the required upgrades.

If funding is secured, major renovations will be carried out in the summers of 2014 and 2015. The planned improvements include: laying a new, properly insulated, concrete floor, replacing the refrigeration plant, upgrading wiring, lighting and dehumidifiers, replacing the leaking roof and improving insulation.

The Trust, local curling clubs and individuals have already raised £330,000 towards the estimated £800,000 cost of these essential renovations. The Trust expects to receive some funding from sportscotland, and will apply to the World Curling Federation for a loan via the national governing body, the Royal Caledonian Curling Club. A decision on grant funding from Perth & Kinross Council is expected later this month.

On Sunday, the official start date of the lease, Mr Melville said: “This is a very exciting day for the Trust and for local curlers. We now feel we have some control over the future of curling in Kinross. Over 1,000 people curl at this ice rink every season, including wheelchair users, vision-impaired curlers and a thriving junior section, so it would be terrible if we lost this facility.

“I’d like to thank all the curlers who have worked hard to raise the sum reached so far, and who have made personal donations. Without some significant sums in the form of grants to add to this, however, we won’t be able to keep curling in Kinross long-term.”

Although major improvements cannot take place until more funds are raised, volunteer tradesmen and curlers have been hard at work giving the curling rink’s lounge and changing rooms a fresh look, with layout changes and lots of new paintwork. And to indicate the change of management, the facility has been renamed ‘Kinross Curling’.

Doug Ritchie, another trustee and head of operations, said: “It has been very heartening to see how many people have been willing to roll up their sleeves and get stuck into the cleaning and painting over the last few days. There has been a terrific team spirit.”

Mr Ritchie added: “With KCT taking over, we will see the continuation of four local jobs. We are delighted that Steven Kerr, the experienced ice rink manager here, and three other ice technicians will stay on with us. We’ll also be recruiting bar staff shortly.”

The Curling Trust’s next fundraising effort is a dinner and auction in October.

Last Sunday, Kinross Curling (as we should now be calling it) held its opening bonspiel and you can see pictures from the event here.

The new Kinross Curling website is here and the KCT website is here.

The RCCC also covered the news on their website including details of how much funding was secured from the Council.

Image is © Kinross Curling