Category Archives: Kinross Curling Trust

Kinross Refurbishment Complete

Some great news from Kinross Curling this week courtesy of Eileen Thomas:

The curling community of Kinross celebrated the successful refurbishment of their rink with a bonspiel on Saturday 20 September.

During the April to September off-season, Kinross curling rink has been given a major overhaul costing over £1M.

The building was stripped back to its steel frame, the floor excavated and then rebuilt. A new concrete floor was created with various layers including heating to avoid ground heave, insulation and 13km of pipes carrying the refrigerant. The walls and roof are now insulated and a new ice plant, boilers and ducting for air and heating have been installed. A new electricity sub-station also had to be built.

Two years ago the facility, built in 1977 as an extension to the Green Hotel, was facing closure as the refrigerant used in its ice plant is soon to be outlawed under EU regulations and the building required major investment to remain fit for purpose.

The Kinross Curling Trust, a charitable body with around 400 curlers as members, arranged to take over the running of the curling rink from the owners via a long lease and set about raising the required funds for the refurbishment.

The largest contributor was sportscotland who gave a grant of £400,000 and a grant of £125,000 was received from Perth and Kinross Council. At the opening bonspiel, Trustee Doug Ritchie particularly thanked the fundraising efforts of members of the Kinross Curling Trust, saying: “The key to securing external funding has been the contributions from curlers and local bodies – around £390,000 in total through donations and loans – a magnificent achievement.”

The Kinross Curling Trust has already successfully run the curling rink for one season prior to the refurbishment. Mr Ritchie, who is the Trust’s Business Manager, said: “We enter the new season with a state of the art ice hall which should enable us to provide very high quality ice and excellent curling.”

Kinross Curling Trust plans further improvements in the future, such as disabled access to the upper floor lounge.

Eighty members of the Kinross Curling Trust took part in the Opening Bonspiel, a fun, social event, on Saturday 20 September.

A formal opening ceremony for the refurbished facility will take place in November.

To see how the rink looks now I suggest you take a look at these pictures – what a difference.

Great to see all the hard work paying off and here’s to many years of curling in Kinross.

Photo is © Andy Macpherson 2014

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

Catchup / Something For The Weekend

Before I post my preview of the Women’s Worlds, here are some things to catch up on and to look forward to this weekend.

So, in no particular order, I will start with the RCCC’s request for nominations for this year’s Scottish Curling Awards – four categories need nominations and it is up to Scotland’s curling community to provide them. All the details are here.

The Curling History Blog has some new articles for you to enjoy. One is a tale of curling research from Bob Cowan about the Lake District that can be found here and the other is about a Grand Match from the 1930s and its prizes – read this one here.

The World Curling Federation has its latest newsletter available online to read. All the news from the governing body and some messages from President Kate Caithness can be found here.

Speaking of the WCF President, Kate has been honoured by an organisation who cover the business and politics of the Olympic Movement called Around the Rings – congratulations to Kate and you can read how she became one of the ‘Golden 25’ here.

This Tuesday saw the Maxwell and Morton trophies being played for at Murrayfield and Kirkcaldy respectively. Both trophies were won by teams from Ayr – all the scores are here and here and a report is available here.

The Scottish Schools’ Championship got underway today (Friday) at Murrayfield. 24 teams are competing and you can read a preview here.

The future of curling at Kinross is an issue that shows no sign of going away any time soon – the Kinross Curling Trust is hosting an open meeting for all curlers on Sunday 24 March. Full details are here.

Curl Aberdeen has seen two eight-enders in a week – find out who scored them here.

Finally, the World Deaf Curling Championships were taking place in Switzerland earlier this month – find out how Canada took home gold and silver here.