Funding package gives Kelso ice rink a warm glow

A dozen Scottish ice rinks, including Kelso’s, are to share a £1.75 million Scottish Government funding package for private-sector businesses left out of pocket over the last year by the Covd-19 pandemic.

Kelso’s rink is in line for a handout of £87,000, to be paid out via the national agency for sport, Sportscotland.

That money is intended to help soften the blow of having been shut for the last 12 months and ensure it is ready to reopen safely when the time is right.

Grants totalling £1,753,000 have been paid out so far from Holyrood’s ice rink support fund, with discussions ongoing with other potential recipients.

That fund is part of a £55 million emergency sports funding package put together by the Scottish Government.

Holyrood sport minister Mairi Gougeon said: “I recognise the importance of ice sports for Scotland's sporting sector and, subject to Covid levels, we would hope to see people returning to the rink when it is safe to do so.

“This vital funding will support facilities and clubs to mitigate the impact of pandemic and will hopefully allow them to reopen safely and sustainably when they can.”

Sportscotland chief executive Stewart Harris added: “We know this investment will be welcomed by the clubs and the communities they serve. 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’s important we continue to work together with our partners across the whole sporting system to ensure sport and physical activity is in good shape and ready to play its part in the recovery of the nation.”