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Ice bowl users frustrated

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By Abbey Morton
Ice bowl users frustrated

DUMFRIES Ice Bowl will remain shut, as the local authority struggles to meet national guidelines.

It is believed that the ice rink and curling pad was due to open on Saturday, but user groups were told this week that Dumfries and Galloway Council was ‘not in a position to safely re-open’.

In a leaked email to users, leisure, culture and wellbeing manager Karen Brownlie said: “We have continued to work closely with Hulley and Kirkwood, (council appointed mechanical and electrical specialists to support the restart of our buildings in terms of ventilation) and Ice Tech UK to find a solution to allow us to reopen safely.

“The ice bowl’s existing ventilation system operates in a recirculatory manner, meaning that there is a limited fresh air supply.

“In order to determine and assess the natural ventilation/leakage of the building, the next step is to run a pressure test throughout the facility.

“Through our contractors, Hulley and Kirkwood, the tender for this work has been issued and is due to be returned in the next week.

“Due to the nature and layout of the building it is essential that we have this work completed in the first instance to enable us to work towards the national guidance.”

However, some users have questioned why DG1, schools and other ice rinks in Scotland can open.

One said: “All user groups have been preparing.

“It’s left hundreds of users in limbo now and sounds very like there is no plan to open.”

Responding, a council spokesman yesterday said: “The safety of our customers, club members, and staff is paramount and must be our key priority.

“Unfortunately, the council isn’t currently in a position to safely re-open Dumfries Ice Bowl until we can fully comply with national guidelines.

“We are working with specialist ventilation and ice contractors to ensure that the building can reopen safely.

“The council is following guidance issued by CIBSE (Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers) for ventilation systems and guidance from Sport Scotland on indoor ice rinks, which follows CIBSE guidance.

“We have undertaken to keep customers and clubs updated on progress.”

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