June 27, 2007

Gogar curlers hope for the future

An Extraordinary General Meeting of Gogar Park Curling Club was held at the Braid Hills Hotel yesterday (Tuesday June 26) to gain support from the membership for the business plan for a new rink. To take things forward 75% of the members of the club, either present at the EGM or voting by proxy, had to be in favour. In a letter to members President Malcolm Wright had emphasized the importance of the meeting for the future direction of the Gogar Park Club and urged all members to attend. The outcome? There was overwhelming support for going forward with the proposals.

The full eighty-page business plan is available on the club website.

Obtaining financial support is the essential part of the plan: donations of around £250,000 are in place. A long-term loan of £1 million has been agreed in principle, but has to be confirmed. Uncertainties lie in the club being able to obtain a Regional Centre of Excellence Grant of £500,000, and the National Centre of Excellence/National Curling Academy funding of £500,000.

Gogar's original home closed on April 9, 2005, a consequence of the Royal Bank of Scotland's development of its new headquarters. An attempt to relocate to Kirknewton fell through. The proposed new site for the club is at Ratho, adjacent to the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena. There is optimism that planning permission can be obtained. However, as the business plan sets out clearly, there are significant hurdles to be overcome before the new rink becomes a reality.

The top illustration, from the business plan, is an artist's impression of how the new rink might look - the grass roof to help reduce the visual impact on the landscape. Immediately above is where the rink will be sited in relation to the climbing centre.

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