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Council backs ice rink

By SPP Reporter

MORAY’S only ice rink will have a new lease of life later this year thanks to councillors today (Wednesday) backing a major investment in the facility.

Users of the ice rink outside Moray Leisure Centre
Users of the ice rink outside Moray Leisure Centre

The rink, housed within Moray Leisure Centre in Elgin, needs a replacement refrigeration plant. The existing plant uses banned CFC gas and is soon to be outlawed by the EU on environmental grounds.

At yesterday’s meeting of the full council it was agreed to allocate £251,300 towards the £462,000 cost of replacing the plant and ice surfacing machine.

Members were told that there are high hopes of a SportScotland grant of up to 50% of the eligible costs, but that this would not be known until final costings have been received following a tendering process.

Should no grant funding be available the matter will have to be referred back to the full council to decide what action to take.

Speaking after the meeting, Convener of the Council, Cllr Allan Wright said it was right to invest in sports facilities that served the whole of Moray.

"I must congratulate the consultants for their work on this issue," he said.

"They have come up with an excellent solution that cost about 30% less than previous estimates and, moreover, have given us options on the type of gas to ensure we are not in this situation again.

"The council cannot simply do nothing here, the facility is well-used and we are pleased to support it."

The Moray Leisure Centre receives an annual subsidy from the council of £685,000 a year for running costs, plus a further £60,000 towards capital expenditure.

The contract for the installation of the new plant will go through the Moray Council’s procurement process to attract competitive tenders for the project.

The £251,000 will be met from council reserves.

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