A FORMAL request has been made by a users’ group to take over some or all responsibility for running Moray’s ice rink.
Ice4All, which comprises representatives from curling, skating and ice hockey, has submitted a bid to Moray Council.
The community group was formed last year in response to the threatened closure of the Elgin ice rink in the face of a likely £500,000 ice plant replacement bill.
While the board of the Moray Leisure charitable trust which operates the ice rink, swimming pool and gym facilities has identified an alternative solution which will cost around £50,000, the Ice4All group is still keen to become involved in the operation of the rink.
Ice4All submitted a discussion paper to Moray Leisure Centre last December, claiming it has a range of specialist business and ice sports development expertise, and can help develop the rink on a profitable and sustainable basis, for the long term benefit of all users. A formal request submitted to Moray Council was considered by members of the children and young people’s committee.
The operation, ownership and management of Moray Leisure Centre are controlled by a lease and funding agreement between Moray Leisure Ltd and the council. The current lease runs until July 27, 2018, and the council provides an annual subsidy of around £500,000 to the centre. Councillors sit on the board of management at the leisure centre.
The leisure centre is on land belonging to the Elgin Common Good Fund and if the lease is not renewed the land would revert to the common good fund.
Nick Goodchild, educational resources manager for Moray Council, told councillors that the “potential benefit of increased involvement of Ice4All in the operation of the ice facility should be explored”.
Graham Jarvis, head of lifelong learning, culture and sport, added that Ice4All had expressed concerns at the quality of the ice and management of the ice facility.
Members agreed to instruct officers to write to Moray Leisure Ltd requesting that they give consideration to entering into discussions with Ice4All.