Murdo says he is “hopeful” that Perth Leisure Pool and the Dewars Centre, Perth, can remain open in the short-term, but stressed that funding is required for their long-term future.
Following contact from constituents and Scottish Curling, he spoke to Live Active Leisure (LAL) and now hopes that a solution can be found to keep both venues open - even on a short-term basis.
Commenting, Murdo Fraser MSP said: “It is a tragedy that Perth Leisure Pool and the Dewars Rinks are now under threat of closure because of financial pressures. I feel it is vital that these vital facilities remain open for the people of Perthshire.
“I wrote a letter, along with Liz Smith MSP, to the Leader of Perth and Kinross Council last week, asking for clarification on the future of Perth Leisure Pool and the Dewars Centre, and have also lodged a Motion at the Scottish Parliament calling on Members to support the call from Scottish Curling to keep the Dewars Centre open. There are also online petitions asking for the venues to remain open.
“Following contact from constituents and talks with Scottish Curling, I spoke to LAL and now hope that a solution can be found to keep both venues open on a short-term basis. In the longer term, more money will be required from Perth and Kinross Council, and we will also need to see more people supporting the Dewars Centre in particular – it has great potential as an events/conference venue – as it needs more income.”
Murdo continued: “Perth Leisure Pool and the Dewars Centre have been a very important part in the social and economic fabric of the city and Perthshire for decades. The Leisure Pool is popular with families, there are swim lessons there and Perth City Swim Club meet there for competitions. Meanwhile, Dewars Rinks is used as an exhibition and conference centre, for indoor bowling, and perhaps most important of all, there is a curling rink there that has been the base for Commonwealth and Olympic gold medal winning curling teams.
“Scottish Curling raised their concerns with us earlier this week. They rightly feel that closing the Dewars Centre would be the ‘death knell for a legacy of curling in Perthshire’ dating back decades. They pointed out how the Dewars Centre has a history of supporting grass roots curling and also plays a central role in combating isolation and reducing barriers to inequality.
“We need to hope both venues can be kept open and we will be doing everything in our power to ensure this happens.”