The Questions and Answers below have been collated from Zoom Q&As during July with Curlers, Skaters and Ice Hockey.
They are not exhaustive, but are indicative of the common themes which were raised by all ice sports enthusiasts.
If you have any outstanding questions, please contact Glasgow Ice Centre on firstname.lastname@example.org
Q1 What is the current status of the project?
A1 We have commissioned an expert Feasibility Study from IPW Ltd. We were registered through the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation on 03 July 2020 (SC050260). This charitable status allows us to tap into grant funding opportunities where applications are only open to charities. We can also now take advantage of Gift Aid on donations received.
Q2 What is the brief for IPW?
A2 We want to provide a home for ice sports which is viable, sustainable and encourages participation.They will look first at the ice facility options:
Option 1: Single ice pad which is multi-use
Option 2: Two ice pads, one dedicated to curling, the other hockey size for skating and ice hockey
Option 3: The Rolls-Royce version of a multi-functional ice centre with all types of skating including a speed track, a dedicated curling rink and a hockey arena.
The next phase of the study will be to look at site identification and present an operating model including information on financials, ownership, management etc.
The study is due to report in October. The findings will be shared in a series of meetings with all major stakeholders
Q3 Why do we need to involve ice sports other than curling?
A3 The Curler-led Steering Group ruled out the option of a curling only facility in the early months of 2020 due to the lack of financial viability. Looking at other models at home and abroad it is clear that regular income from other activities is necessary throughout the year e.g. Inverness has curling, public skating and ice hockey; Forfar has curling, skating and indoor bowls.
Q4 What opportunity has there been for ice users to give their views –Curlers, Skaters, Ice Hockey?
A4 Curlers started this project in late 2019 when Intu Braehead said they would be closing the Curling Rink in March 2020. We have held 2 Zoom Q&As with the Curling Community and multiple Curling Club specific Q&As throughout July. We have also reached out to the Skating and Ice Hockey Communities and have held dedicated Zoom Q&A sessions for them to provide input. We have an email distribution list and regularly mail key people and groups information and encourage feedback by all methods. We have issued a Survey Monkey questionnaire for feedback from all ice users on what they would like to see in the new centre. We appreciate that not everyone is comfortable using IT like this and have asked all contributors to support fellow curlers, skaters and ice hockey players to complete the survey. GIC is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and www.glasgowicecentre.co.uk. Please feel free to communicate your ideas and suggestions on these platforms or email us on email@example.com
Q5 When will the ice rink be built and what is the location?
A5 The remit for location is Greater Glasgow with September 2022 being the ideal target date.
Q6 How will you manage the tension between ice sports when they all want to be on the ice at the same time?
A6 This will be a significant challenge if option 1 is the most viable (1 ice pad). In any case, GIC & IPW will consult with all ice users to find the best balance of ice time use.
Q7 Why have you rejected the idea of curlers owning the new ice-rink, a model that works elsewhere?
A7 Our Charitable purposes require there to be shared ownership/management in a mixed-use ice facility. We consider this to be fair and reasonable to each of the ice sports. The skating community have advised they do not wish to be part of a facility where it is solely owned by the curlers, and we know after speaking to sportscotland that significant capital and ongoing funding would be less likely on these terms. For example: a small shared curling/skating venue might cost c£6m in capital costs with c£600k annual running costs. That might require the curlers to raise c£3m initially and borrow the rest, if divided equally among the c600 Glasgow Curlers that would amount to approx. £5k per person with significant ongoing costs. We do not believe that’s achievable.
Q8 What is the £40,000 Fighting Fund for?
A8 The Feasibility Study by IPW will cost £25k + VAT (£5k), plus expenses capped at £3k. In addition there have been legal costs in establishing our charitable status and small costs in the design of our logo, website and general administration.
Q9 What is happening on the Fund Raising front?
A9 We established a Go Fund Me page which has had fantastic support with both small and some larger donations. Please share the link with your fellow Club Members. As a charity we can now take advantage of Gift Aid which adds 25p in the £. https://www.gofundme.com/f/glasgow-ice-centre-fighting-fund
Q10 Have we received any support from Scottish Curling?
A10 The Royal Caledonian Curling Club, governing body of Scottish Curling have agreed to a donation of £2,000 and their development team are helping us.
Q11 Why did you decide on a Tier 1 SCIO charity status?
A11 At this time, it would be very difficult to establish the criteria of eligibility for potential individual members and obtain their details for registration. For a multi-use facility, there is a possibility this could involve around 4,000 from the Ice Hockey Community, perhaps 2,000 from the Ice Skating Community and 600 from the Curling Community. Our independent legal advice from Senscot Legal is that Tier 1 is correct at this stage. The inclusion of Tier 2 membership in the registration requires a significant administrative effort and an on-going commitment to maintain a register with paperwork for every individual and put in place insurances and administration systems etc. At this stage in the Project we feel that our efforts are better focused on moving the Project forward. Tier 2 or even Tier 3 registration can be addressed at a later stage. Given that we do not yet know if we have a site and a viable project, it would be premature and costly to move to a Tier 2 structure at this stage.
Q12 Will you consider a phased approach to the development of the facility?
A12 This has been raised with IPW. If we start with one ice pad and establish it financially successful, we want to make sure we have the space (building and land) to add a second pad later. This is the model at Forfar Ice. Our funding challenges may lead us to take a phased approach.
Q13 How will a new ice centre be funded?
A13 The Feasibility Study will give clarity on the funding required with recommendations on achieving this. We do not underestimate the challenge and we will strengthen the project team to include strong skills in grant and lottery funding application processes. Our research has indicated that we are unlikely to receive financial support from Glasgow Life but they are very supportive of a mixed facility. IPW will investigate the suitability of redundant Glasgow Council properties for repurposing.
Q14 How certain are you that this will be financially viable and not a White Elephant?
A14 Glasgow has a major gap with its lack of provision of an ice facility. Skaters and their coaches have to travel to Hamilton, East Kilbride, Ayr and beyond. IPW will analyse the demand in Glasgow to support this project. Our initial market research makes us confident that this is sustainable: the numbers of potential users for Skating (2,000) and Ice Hockey (4,000) is significant and will be more financially viable with public skating and hockey spectators. We know that Curling only has income for 6-7 months of the year. We will look at alternative income-generating uses for the curling pad during the off-season, one example being inline skating (roller skating). We have also become aware of considerable demand from junior ice hockey which we are exploring. We also need to provide a development environment for all ice sports, not just Curling. We need to open doors e.g. Corporate events, accessing over 50s, University students, schools etc.
Q15 Have you approached Intu to see if the curling rink could be leased?
A15 We have been in touch with Intu on a number of occasions and more recently with the Administrators. On every occasion our approach has been turned down.
Q16 Are you planning on a new build or a retro fit of an existing building?
A16 Considering both with both options being included in the feasibility study.
Q17 Should we be aiming higher politically, target the Scottish Government directly, health benefits etc?
A17 Once we get through the feasibility study and we know what option we can take – then we will move ahead to engage with the government and politicians. We feel that the Scottish Government would be more favourable if we were going down the Rolls Royce route.
Q18 Is IPW getting the design/build contract?
A18 Cool Venues, (a partnership of ipw ltd, Ice Tech Uk and their associates) will have first option to build a new ice centre that matches their recommendation. IPW are looking at the most sustainable options that can be funded within our time frame, and we could choose to move forward with other suppliers if more appropriate.
Q19 Will the IPW Feasibility Study results be presented directly to a meeting of Glasgow curlers, and allow them to decide on the best way forward?
A19 Our contract with IPW precludes full disclosure of some sensitive information, but the results of the study will be presented in a number of public meetings to all ice sports groups in the late Autumn. We will consult with all our Stakeholders on the recommendation(s) from the Feasibility Study to make sure we have all views before reaching a decision.
Q20 Is the success of the new centre going to depend on the displacement of members from other clubs?
A20 There will always be a certain amount of displacement. Feedback from another local ice rink owner is very positive, as he understands the whole ice market and is supportive of the project.
Q21 How will you balance the time allocated to each sport as well as public skating sessions which bring in much needed revenue?
A21 All to be decided. First we need a viable, sustainable centre and we all need to work together to make sure this project is a success. There will be difficult discussions ahead to make sure we meet the needs of all potential users and build a financially viable centre but all disciplines will be considered and no one group has priority.
Q22 It seems in a lot of the discussions, even in the survey itself, that this rink is for curling primarily with “the potential to support hockey.” Should Hockey be concerned about getting left out for curling?
A22 Absolutely not. GIC is a registered charity with charitable aims which includes ice hockey and skating in their remit for improving public health and creating recreation and leisure opportunities in Glasgow. While the inaugural Trustees are curlers, they are committed to a multi-sport facility for the benefit of all.
Q23 What has happened to the curling equipment at Braehead?
A23 It is not practical to transfer any of the ice plant but we have been able to remove the curling stones, brushes and memorabilia which are now in safe storage.
Q24 Are there plans to expand the sports to include Ski slopes, ice climbing, gym etc?
A24 If there is an opportunity to expand into other sports and it is viable, then we will definitely look into it further.
Q25 Looking at figure skating, would a new club be started or would existing ones be integrated into the centre if they wanted to?
A25 It would be inclusive – everyone will be welcome through the door and to join the new facility.
Q26 Are there any plans to get local skating clubs involved in fundraising?
A26 At this stage we are fundraising for the Feasibility Study. Skaters can help raise funds by following our social media campaign to make a post with your reason that you want a new ice centre in Glasgow and donating to the GoFundMe page. https://www.gofundme.com/f/glasgow-ice-centre-fighting-fund
Q28 What level of hockey are you aiming this towards? Do you hope that it becomes inclusive of every level or level specific?
A28 It will be aimed at all levels of hockey – from beginner to elite players. We wish to be totally inclusive across all ice sports.
Q29 Is it part of the IPW scope/deliverables to engage with the wider Glasgow community and potential user groups like schools for Learn to curl, skate, play ice hockey etc. as that would ensure dead/daytime ice could be utilised, helping to bolster the business case?
A29 Yes, we want to create a business model where all ice is fully booked
Q30 Would we consider engaging with Police Scotland to help work with young kids to help keep kids off the streets within Glasgow City?
A30 Absolutely – this is something that will be considered.
Q31 If there was the dual pad, would one pad be exclusively for curling?
A31 This will depend on demand, but is quite likely during the Curling Season (Sept – March).
Q32 What is your vision with regards to a retail provision?
A32 We wish to have a vibrant facility and offer retail facilities which appeals to all sports.
Q33 We have mentioned the facility being inclusive, will it be designed to cater for disabled ice sports enthusiasts, sledge hockey, impaired vision skating etc.
A33 Most definitely. The facility will meet all building regulations and be fully accessible. One of our Trustees, Margarita Sweeney-Baird is the founder of Inclusive Skating.
Q34 Would changing facilities be reserved for certain clubs?
A34 The plan would be for the changing facilities to be open to all.
Q35 If there is no ice on the pad(s) there is a potential to use the space for other dry sports e.g. ball hockey which is very popular and is growing fast in the UK and uses the same size of surface as ice hockey. This is a potential additional revenue source. OR could we include a ball hockey surface / dry sports space in this project?
A35 All opportunities to expand the offering will be considered.
Q36 How do you hope to gain media attention with the BBC & STV refusing to cover the sport?
A36 Doesn’t have to be just about BBC and STV – other channels cover ice sports too