Funding approved for Kinross Curling Trust

Perth and Kinross Council has agreed to grant £125,000 towards efforts to secure the future of one of the area’s most popular rinks.

Although the facility is used by more than 1,000 people each year, Kinross Curling Trust has been struggling to attract funding for improvements.

Applications for grants from various charitable organisations have been declined and time is running out to carry out vital repairs.

At least £800,000 is needed to bring the rink up to standard, including the replacement of existing refrigeration equipment, which will be banned at the end of 2014 when new EU legislation comes into effect.

Thanks to the dedication of members, local clubs and individuals, around £335,000 has already been secured, with further funding of £300,000 being sought from sportscotland.

Executive director for environment, Jim Valentine has backed plans for the local authority to help plug the gap.

He said: “The project will clearly have significant sporting and community benefits for a number of Perth and Kinross residents and for curlers from the wider region.

“The development of the trust and the enthusiasm and hard work displayed by the trust members in developing the project to this stage and securing both sportscotland funding and significant local support is to be welcomed.”

Once the trust has met its target, work will begin next summer and is expected to be completed within 12 months.

Members have ambitious plans to increase overall occupancy by almost 10% over three years, as well as create a tourist attraction by offering curling weekends for visitors to the local area.

The trust took over the running of the rink at the Green Hotel after its owners, the Montgomery Hotel Group, refused to invest further in the facility.

They did, however, offer a 50-year lease period to the local curlers, charging a base rent of just £100 per annum, with a further payment being based on a percentage of turnover, as well as donating curling stones worth around £20,000.

Members of Perth and Kinross Council’s strategic policy and resources committee approved the funding on Wednesday 18 September 2013.

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