January 23, 2009

National Curling Academy to be run by Kinross Curling Trust

It is three months since the announcement was made that Kinross is to be the home of the National Curling Academy. The Royal Club has posted a newsletter today, signed by the Kinross Curling Trust Subscribing Trustees, outlining progress. It is on the RCCC website here, but because of its importance, I'll post the full text here. That's the proposed site in the photo above, across the road from the Green Hotel.

"We are pleased to report the progress since the RCCC Board’s decision of 16 October that Kinross Curling Trust was its preferred partner for the NCA. We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring this new facility to Kinross which will not only secure the future of curling in Kinross but also give an opportunity to further develop the sport.

Unlike the current rink which is owned by the Montgomery Hotel Group, the new Rink will be owned by the Kinross Curling Trust whose membership will be made up of the curlers using the facility. A long term lease has been offered on the Market Park site opposite the Green Hotel and plans are being developed for a new 6 sheet facility.

A meeting with local curlers is planned for Thursday 5 February at the Windlestrae Hotel (8pm) to provide a further update on progress.

Kinross Curling Trust
A Solicitor is finalising the Trust’s Memorandum and Articles of Association prior to incorporation as a company limited by guarantee. The Trust will then seek recognition as a charity. The Charitable purposes are all related to the development of curling. The Trust’s Memorandum and Articles of Association will be placed on its web site in due course.

The Trust will have 3 Directors appointed by the RCCC and 6 members elected as Trustees at the AGM of the Trust by the local curlers who make up the membership of the Trust. The Trustees will have power to co-opt up to a further 3 Trustees. Until the first AGM of the Trust is held, 3 subscribing Trustees will manage the Trust and be responsible for procuring the facility. They are Jamie Montgomery, Bob Tait (Chairman of the RCCC Board) and Colin Grahamslaw (Chief Executive RCCC). It is expected that additional trustees will be co-opted as required until the first AGM.

The Facility
The facility is expected to comprise of 6 sheets of ice solely for curling, a reception area, changing facilities, stone storage, technical support areas and storage, a spectators’ lounge with bar and catering on the first floor, a fitness suite/ multi use space, the RCCC offices where 17 staff will re-locate from Edinburgh and Stirling and the RCCC Museum and meeting rooms. The building will be fully wheel chair accessible and it will meet the latest environmental standards. There have been discussions with representatives of key users/occupiers and the outcome of these will be reported to the subscribing Trustees and the Project Manager to inform design.

The facility will replace the existing curling rink in Kinross and will obviously be used mainly by local curlers. It is expected to be open for curling for 10 months of the year.

Sportscotland, the government’s national sports agency, has been involved in the development of the project which has already passed its first level of approval. The Sports Minister is supportive of the project.

Seven figure grant support is expected from sportscotland and both the RCCC and the RCCC Trust are expected to contribute towards the costs of the office and museum.

Other grants from sources such as the Energy Savings Trust, European Community and local charitable Trusts are also being actively pursued. It is expected that some commercial borrowing will be required though obviously the aim is to minimise this.

As well as funding from local charitable sources and enterprise bodies, funders will expect to see contributions from local curlers. Fund raising initiatives are being developed and a target will be put in place for local fund-raising but, in the meantime, the subscribing Trustees would be happy to discuss or receive pledges, donations and bequests and ideas for raising money. Obviously the more funding that is raised through donations etc., the lower the level of commercial borrowing that will be required. As an example at Curl Aberdeen, the only recent new build curling rink in Scotland, curlers contributed around £500,000 or 20 % of the cost meaning the project was completed without commercial debt.

For large donations, some commemorative plaque could be incorporated into the building or a room / space in the facility named after the donor. The RCCC Charitable Trust is already looking at how to recognise the £100,000 donation from Mr Bob Gardner towards the development of a museum of curling.

Project Manager/ Cost Planner
10 companies were invited to compete for this key post and 5 were interviewed. The Interview Panel has recommended its preferred company to the subscribing Trustees. If the recommendation is accepted contracts will be exchanged as soon as practicable after the Kinross Curling Trust has been incorporated. The company appointed will be accountable to the subscribing Trustees and will be responsible for finalising the design and procuring the facility on time and on budget.

The target is start on site during quarter 3 of 2009 with completion by August 2010. Delivery on this tight timescale will require early progress on all aspects although some are outwith the control of the subscribing Trustees, including funding and planning consent."

Pic by Bob

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