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Curlers plan for new ice rink in Cupar

An ambitious plan to build a new £1 million four-sheet ice rink for curlers has been unveiled.

An ambitious plan to build a new £1 million four-sheet ice rink for curlers has been unveiled.

The plans were announced by the Fife Curling Trust, formed by local curlers, who aim to improve the game in the area by building the facilities in the east of Fife.

The planned new rink is to use geothermal technology to freeze the ice and heat the building, this will also reduce the energy costs and lower carbon emissions.

Land that would be suitable for the building has been identified in Cupar and it is hoped that it would be able to open at the end of 2010.

The trust, which is a registered charity, has already raised three quarters of the money needed for the project.

SportScotland awarded them a grant of £500,000 and they have raised £250,000 from sponsorship and loans but still need £250,000 from public donors to start work.

Alan Stuart, vice-chairman of the trust, told the East Fife Mail: "Currently the only facilities available to players are at the Kirkcaldy ice rink which isn't ideal.

"Kirkcaldy is the oldest ice rink in Scotland and, being polite, the facilities there are getting tired and not up to standard.

"There are over 1,500 curlers in Fife that use the rink but they don't bring in much money compared to the ice hockey.

"The facilities we are planning are of a higher standard and will benefit curlers across Fife."

The trust is to employ a development officer, in partnership with the Royal Caledonian Curling Club and Fife Council, to work with schools, colleges, curling clubs and the community to encourage more people to take up the game.

Mr Stuart added: "We hope that anyone with an interest in the game would be willing to help raise funds.

"In particular it would be good if some older people who maybe don't curl anymore but have done all their life would be willing to make a small donation.

"It would be a good way for them to say 'I had a great time curling for 30 to 40 years and I would like others to do so now'."

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