Ice HockeyIts fast and furious and available here in Inverness! There are junior and senior league teams and so no matter what your age if you are looking for a new challenge, why not give it a go!
SkatingAt Inverness Ice Centre public skating sessions are available all year round. We have over 300 pairs of skates available in a wide range of sizes to suit the smallest of feet to the largest! Please check out our 'Skating Timetable' for the latest information.
CurlingThought to have been invented in the 16th century the sport has come a long way. Firmly established as a winter Olympic sport its popularity has flourished with all ages taking a keen interest in this tactical team sport.
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Inverness Ice Centre secures half a million pounds to fund essential upgrade in time for Winter Olympics 2018
Olympian and triple world champion Scottish curler, Ewan MacDonald, has welcomed over half a million pounds worth of upgrades to the Inverness Ice Centre saying it will set athletes on course in their training for the Winter Olympics in 2018.
The Inverness Ice Centre, which is used by a number of Olympic, Paralympic, World and European Champions for training, has recently secured £685,000 in funding.
Inverness Ice Centre also plays host to the annual Strictly Inverness dancing extravaganza, which sees thousands of pounds raised each year for the Highland Hospice and the Ice Centre itself.
The money will be used for an essential plant upgrade for the Ice Centre, located on Bught Drive in the city, which will result in a 25 to 30 per cent saving, which equates to a five figure sum annually, in running costs. A saving that the board of director’s hope will help make the centre more economic and viable for the future.
The two largest funding packages have come from sportscotland, the national agency for sport, and The Highland Council Capital Grand fund, contributing £345,125 and £171,870 respectively.
It’s hoped the upgrades, which will make the centre brighter and more modern, will encourage more first time ice skaters through the front door of the centre in the future, which in turn will help the social enterprise facility increase its revenue, in order to ensure the sustainability of the centre in future years.
Olympians World, European and Paralympic medalists, including Ewan MacDonald (pictured), use the facility alongside curling teams, figure and dance skating groups as well as public skaters, synchro skaters, ice hockey clubs and the Highland Wheelchair Curling Club on a regular basis.
Ewan MacDonald, who was born in Inverness, is a three-time World Champion, playing second for Hammy McMillan in 1999 and playing third for David Murdoch in 2006 and 2009, representing Scotland. He has also represented Great Britain at three Winter Olympics, in Salt Lake City 2002, Torino 2006 and Vancouver 2010.
Ewan, who regularly trains at the centre, said: “The Inverness Ice Centre is our only training facility in the Highland region and this funding comes at a brilliant time, when athletes are preparing to train in the run up to the winter Olympics in 2018.
“The upgrades are going to make a huge difference to the quality of the ice and importantly allow for speedy change over to different disciplines allowing skaters and curlers more opportunities to compete and train.”
The upgrade to the Ice Centre plant will see a new bespoke chiller pack with air-cooled condensers and control system from G&O Refrigeration being installed. The upgrades will ensure the plant is more adaptable to external conditions and more responsive, so operators will have better control of the ice conditions inside the hall, which will result in a better customer experience. The new Ice Grid floor provided by the main contractor IceTech UK will increase the efficiency of the chiller and allow staff to create better ice surfaces for each specific user group.
Regular users of the rink will notice a new Rink Dasher Board system in place, which will have the biggest visual impact of the upgrade. A safer, brighter and more modern barrier system will also be put in place, which provides spaces for local companies to advertise.
Work has already got underway on this project, and the Inverness Ice Centre, which has a total of ten employees, is now closed to members and the public until its opening date, which is predicated to be the first week in September.
Tom Pendreigh, Chair of Inverness Ice Centre, said: “We have secured the funding through various different sources, including over £80,000 of own funds – and we are now delighted to move forward with this essential project which is central to the Inverness Ice Centre’s longevity.
“This plant upgrade should result in 25-30 per cent annual saving on running costs, which equates to a five-figure sum saving each year. This fundraising effort is stage one of our overall plan, which includes work to improve the aesthetics of the centre itself.
“However, it is essential that the mechanics of the centre is as efficient as possible, before we work on the centre’s exterior and interior appearance.
“In light of our vision for the centre, we will be increasing our fundraising efforts in the future and in doing so, we are hoping to raise our profile as a charitable organisation.”
He added: “It’s so important that we use this money wisely to ensure the centre’s future, as it is the only ice sports facility and is one of the largest wet weather facilities in the Highlands.”
Stewart Harris, Chief Executive of sportscotland, said: “At sportscotland we are building a world-class sporting system for everyone in Scotland. An important part of that plan is to work with our partners to provide access to a network of quality places where everyone can get involved in sport.
“The redevelopment of the Inverness Ice Centre will provide an excellent training base for high performance athletes based in the Highlands, as well as creating a fantastic community facility to be enjoyed for many years to come. That’s why we were delighted to invest £345,125 in this terrific project.”
The Inverness Ice Centre changed ownership a number of times before its users bought it in 2002, and it became a charitable organisation as part of the process.