Home of Scottish Curling Champions supported by SOSE grant

Lockerbie Ice Rink has welcomed £36k in grant support from South of Scotland Enterprise to help them recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The much-loved ice rink is a major sporting facility in Lockerbie and its surrounding rural communities.

It has provided curling and skating facilities for all ages and abilities since it began in 1967, and is home to Lockerbie Wheelchair Curling Club, Lockerbie Figure Skating and Ice Dance Club, as well as the main rink for 15 local curling clubs.

Over the years many curlers from Lockerbie have been Scottish Champions and have gone on to represent Scotland at the World and European Championships with over twenty winning medals at World level. Among the Olympians who were young curlers at Lockerbie are Anna Sloan, Claire Hamilton, David Murdoch and Tom Brewster who won medals at the Sochi Games. (making Lockerbie truly “Home of Olympians”) In 2019, the Figure Skating Club was also coached by double Olympians, David King and Stacey Kemp. 

It has been a tough year for the South of Scotland Rink. The high season was cut short by COVID-19 restrictions, and they were forced to close in March 2020.  The ice rink has been non-operational since then, and the revenue stream they would normally receive from venue hire during the low season was also stopped by Covid restrictions.

The team at the ice rink have warmly welcomed the support from SOSE;

Margaret Taylor, Chair of Lockerbie Ice Rink said:  “Receiving word that a grant from SOSE was available has been a huge relief. The funding means that we can plan for reopening in October 2021, without severe financial pressure and a reduction in our permanent staff.

“We aim to take time over the next year to restructure and make the rink more sustainable and suited to the role it plays in the community. Although the rink is over 50 years old and has a customer base stretching over the South of Scotland and North England, we feel we still have a lot to offer when the pandemic is over.

“We hope to continue to invest in curling for young people with the help of local funders, and we also hope to further improve the accessibility of the facility. We have had great help from various sources during this difficult time and are extremely grateful. The funding from SOSE is a huge part of that help, so we must thank them for their support.”

Professor Russel Griggs OBE, Chair of South of Scotland Enterprise said:  “We are the economic development agency for the South of Scotland and our immediate focus is to continue to support our businesses, communities, and individuals to recover from the wide-ranging impacts of the pandemic.

“I am delighted we could help support Lockerbie Ice Rink, a fantastic and much-loved community facility in the region. Unfortunately, they have lost a season’s worth of business, but this grant will help them to remain active until they are able to open their doors again in 2021. 

“I am also happy that the facility is fully accessible from door to ice, with wheelchair accessible toilets, improved door access and a lift available.

“The Lockerbie Ice Rink is a national model in provision of sport for all, and I trust it will continue to provide a sustainable place for sport, community and education for years to come.

Anna Sloan, who claimed a bronze medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics added:  “Lockerbie Ice Rink is where I began curling at a young age and I was there so often when I was growing up it was almost my second home.

“I know how important Lockerbie Ice Rink is to the club curlers, who still use the facility every year, and to the local community.

“It has been such a difficult year for everyone, but I am so glad that Lockerbie Ice Rink has secured this funding from the South of Scotland Enterprise to help them through this uncertain time.”