Curling after Braehead – the way forward

A few weeks have passed since our last update on 18th December 2019, hopefully you have all enjoyed the holiday period.

We continue to develop our plans to provide Curling in Glasgow for next season, September 2020, and beyond.

We understand there has been much activity by clubs and other venues to explore their individual positions to continue Curling in the short, medium and potentially long terms following the closure of Braehead.

The Steering Group, led by Gary Macfarlane, continue to develop various options and are due to complete their report by the end of January 2020 in line with timescales all as previously communicated to you.

We would like to remind all Members that we will be carrying out a full consultation process on a number of available of options including the providing of a facility for next season, September 2020.

The Consultation Meetings will be held in the Management Suite at Intu Braehead on the following dates:

Tuesday 4th February 2020 @ 6.30pm

Wednesday 5th February 2020 @ 6.30pm

Following the Consultation Meetings Members will be provided 14 days to consider options and provide feedback. It is anticipated we will be in a position by the end of February 2020 to, in principle, agree on a way forward.

We have met with Greenacres Curling Club on several occasions and they are fully appraised and supportive of our timelines, end of February, to complete the as promised consultation process with you.

It is trusted we have your continued support and look forward to seeing many of you at one of the meetings as we look to share with you some vision and ideas for the providing of Curling in Glasgow in September 2020 and beyond.

In the interim if there are any questions please do not hesitate to be in contact.

Alan Hannah

Chair

New Curling Facility Group

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It is three weeks since the announcement that intu Braehead intends to close the only Curling Rink in the Greater Glasgow area at the end of March 2020 leaving 700 curlers with no local curling rink.

Braehead Curling Development Group took the initiative and held two emergency meetings attended by over 200 curlers at very short notice to hear the opinions of the Curlers and Clubs affected.   Bruce Crawford, CEO of Scottish Curling, attended both meetings.

The curlers were strongly in favour of urgently and robustly exploring the establishment of a replacement rink to serve the Greater Glasgow area. Bruce Crawford also explained that Scottish Curling and the Scottish Curling Trust had yet to find a home for their wished-for Scottish National Curling Museum.

A key issue is the need to deliver a new Glasgow Curling Rink as soon as possible, to avoid curler retirement and club dispersal to other rinks. Therefore, the BCDG has established a Steering Group to establish whether a new Glasgow Curling Rink and Scottish Curling Museum is achievable and viable.   The initial focus of this Group is to identify if it is at all possible to provide a temporary ice facility for Season 2020/21 and to report their findings back to the BCDG at the end of January 2020.

A new build may take 2-3 seasons to develop while a building which can be converted potentially reduces this timescale significantly.   It may be that a basic temporary facility could provide the capacity to extend to a permanent home in future.

The brief to the Steering Group is to progress discussions with Glasgow Life and Renfrewshire Leisure and any other potential supporters in the hope of finding a location which can provide a minimum of 4 sheets, is fully accessible, has adjacent and adequate car parking.   An added bonus would be good public transport links.    

For the future, we are very aware that we need to ensure long term financial viability and that this will require sufficient space for a range of additional attractive activities and functions, and alternative uses of the ice pad during the off season. They will look at the business models used at other successful rinks in Scotland such as Curl Aberdeen.

Gary Macfarlane is spear-heading the Steering Group and has gathered a number of volunteers with specialist skills, including myself, to support him and they have already begun discussions on our behalf.   We will provide an update from them in January.   As we identify the need for further specialist knowledge/skills, we will recruit additional experts to provide that input.   If you believe that you have relevant skills and contacts which would be beneficial to this project, please get in touch.

The BCDG is the representative body for the Clubs and Curlers at Braehead and will explore the development of the project and share the findings and recommendations with you.

In time, the BCDG will need to establish a more complex organisation perhaps with charitable status to proceed with this project, but meantime we are working closely with the Steering Group to ensure that we achieve the best outcome for our curlers.  

Alan Hannah

Chair

Braehead Curling Development Group

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Statement from The Braehead Curling Development Group

We have now completed the two Emergency Meetings and very much appreciate the attendance and support, over the two evenings, of nearly 200 members and guests.

We also thank Scottish Curling, represented by Bruce Crawford CEO, for their support on both evenings.

The Members were again advised that the Curling Facility at Braehead will close at the end of the current season, end of March 2020.

Intu representative Scott Martin answered questions raised by the Members and Guests.

The Members and Guests discussed the options available to them for the 20/21 season.

The Members and Guests discussed a variety of long-term visions for providing Curling in Glasgow.

There was overwhelming support from the Members, Guests and Scottish Curling to explore the providing of a new/another facility in Glasgow or Renfrewshire.

The Meetings agreed a Working Group should be formed to move potential options to a Feasibility Stage and report back to members early in the New Year.

The Braehead Curling Development Group undertook to seek interest from members and individuals beyond who could bring certain expertise as will be required by the Working Group. Given the urgency to move to full Feasibility Stage the Braehead Curling Development Group will take the lead in forming the initial Working Group.

We would like to thank all who have attended the meetings and those who have separately reached out. We have no doubt your passion, expertise and determination to deliver a new Curling Facility to serve Glasgow will prevail.

We look forward to working with you all closely over the coming weeks and months.

Yours sincerely,

 

Alan Hannah

BCDG – Chairman

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m. 07976525035

The Braehead Curling Development Group will host two Emergency Meetings, dates and times as follows:

Tuesday 26th November 2019 @ 6.30pm

Wednesday 27th November 2019 @ 6.30pm

The meetings will be held in the Marketing Suite, 3rd Floor within Braehead Shopping Centre.

We felt it important to offer two times to ensure all have an opportunity to attend.

The meetings will be open to members, curling guests and stakeholders.

The Agenda for the meetings will be as follows:

  • Introduction
  • The Short Term – until the end of the current season
  • The Medium Term – Season 20/21
  • The Long Term Vision
  • Form a Working Group
  • AOCB

We look forward to seeing you at the meeting with a view to turning this sad situation into a positive for Curling.

Scottish Curling have added another date to their Roadshow to be hosted by Greenacres Curling Club on Tuesday 10th December 2019 from 6.30pm.

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