Statement by the Board of Ayrshire Curlers Ltd 26th September 2023

27 September 2023

Statement by the Board of Ayrshire Curlers Ltd 26th September 2023

The Board of Ayrshire Curlers Ltd and the 550 curlers who utilise the facility at Ayr Ice Rink are deeply saddened by its closure. The Board has managed the facility for the last 51 years and dealt with the competing demands for ice time. Both the Board and the curlers in Ayr have been upset by the criticism and false information aired in social media and other media outlets directed at the Board and Ayr curlers in general. 

The reason for closure is simply down to the non viability of trading the ice rink due to the hike in energy prices. The £150,000+ of ADDITIONAL income required to pay energy costs per annum cannot be generated.

The Board has investigated all options to remain open including reduced energy consumption, insulation and alternative income streams, however, the overall effect is minimal.

To date the Board has received three different offers for the rink from Glasgow Ice Centre who have advised that they have the support of Scottish Curling, Kyle and Ayr Figure Skating Clubs and the Bruins Junior Ice Hockey Club. It is unfortunate that they haven’t discussed their proposals with Ayr Curling Club as curling generated 53% of the income at the ice rink in the last accounting period. 

The Board has examined Glasgow Ice Centre’s offers together with their business plan and cash flow projections and has raised some queries with them. No response has been received to this request or to a request for proof of funding. The Board can confirm that the initial offer to buy the rink had an offer price of £1 and the most recent offer of £22,000 includes all curling stones.

There have been statements in social media about substantial debt within Ayrshire Curlers Ltd. The Board can confirm that there is no crystallised debt, unpaid invoices or sums due to HMRC, all debts have been paid as they have fallen due. The Board assumes that the sums that have been referred to are grant awards from Sport Scotland which date back to 2010 and 2013 when Sport Scotland paid 50% of the cost of the ice making plant and a new floor.  As a term in the awards Sport Scotland MAY require this grant to be repaid if the rink closes within 20 years. We are in discussion with Sport Scotland regarding this. It is entirely a matter between Ayrshire Curlers Ltd and Sport Scotland. 

The Board of Ayrshire Curlers Ltd believe that onus for the provision of leisure facilities should rest with the local authority as is the case in East (The Galleon) and North (Auchenharvie) Ayrshire. South Ayrshire has relied upon Ayrshire Curlers Ltd to provide an ice rink since 1972 and unfortunately, the war in Ukraine with its consequence on energy prices has resulted in the business being unable to continue with the provision of ice facilities.

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