Three ice rinks from our region set to receive vital funding

Kelso skater Credit: ITV Border

Independent ice rinks in Stranraer, Lockerbie and Kelso are set to receive funding from the Scottish Government to help them stay open.

They are three of a dozen rinks across the country to share a more than £1.75m support package.

Ice rinks have been closed since March 2020 and many feared that with no income their future was in trouble.

Border Ice Rink, Kelso Credit: ITV Border

Border Ice Rink in Kelso will be getting £87,000, 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, ensure they are able to reopen safely when the time is right.

This is an amazing amount of money for us, we have not had the ice rink open since mid-march 2020, we had to bring all our facilities to an abrupt end and we have not opened since then. We've had all expenses and no income, we will probably have a hit of £70k to £80k and this award that we have just received will hopefully cover all these costs.

Andrew Wemyess, Border Ice Rink’s Chairman

Both skaters and curlers at Border Ice Rink said they are keen to get back on the ice.

The funding is part of the £55m emergency sports funding package from the Scottish Government, distributed by sportscotland.

Chief Executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said: “We know that this investment in ice rinks will be welcomed by the clubs and the communities that they serve, including here in Kelso. We hope it will provide some reassurance and allow the ice rinks to plan for both their immediate and longer-term futures.

“These are very challenging times, and it is important that we continue to work together with our partners across the whole sporting system to ensure that sport and physical activity is in good shape and ready to play its part in the recovery of the nation.”