Murdo has called on the Scottish Government to produce a sustainable financial model for curling’s ‘Hampden Park.’
He will raise the future of the Dewars Centre in Perth in the Scottish Parliament when he leads a debate on the issue on May 31. Murdo will highlight the importance of the sporting venue to the curling community in Scotland and ask for funding support in the future.
The complex, which hosts curling, ice skating, indoor bowling, and a range of conferences and events, was threatened with closure earlier this year due to funding constraints.
Murdo recently met representatives from Scottish Curling, the national body representing the sport, to discuss the vital role that the Dewar Centre provides. The meeting was attended by Graham Lindsay and Vincent Bryson, the Chair and Interim Chief Executive respectively of the organisation.
Commenting, Murdo Fraser MSP said: “Like many other local residents, I was very concerned a few weeks ago with the suggestion that Dewars Rinks and Perth Leisure Pool might have to close, due to the financial pressures on Live Active Leisure, which operates the facilities with financial assistance from Perth and Kinross Council. Fortunately, Live Active was able to dip into its reserves to fill a £600,000 budget deficit, but clearly this is not a sustainable funding model for the future.
“Either Perth and Kinross Council will have to find more funds to support venues such as this, or alternative sources must be found. That is why I am taking a debate to the Scottish Parliament, to ask Scottish Ministers what vision they have for the future of sports and leisure facilities like this across Scotland.”
Murdo continued: “Dewars is particularly significant as a centre for Scottish curling, a sport which has enjoyed considerable international success in recent years. Dewars is actually viewed by the curling community as the ‘Hampden Park’ of the sport, and it would be an absolute tragedy if it were to close.
“I hope that by bringing this debate to the Scottish Parliament I can impress upon Scottish Ministers the need to provide a sustainable financial model for Dewars and other venues. If we are serious about the health and wellbeing agenda then we do need to ensure that sporting and leisure facilities are properly supported.”