User groups at the Moray Ice Rink expressed their delight last night when it was revealed that a contract for the replacement of the rink’s ice plant had been awarded.
Concerns had been expressed by Ice4All, the organisation formed from users of the Moray Leisure Centre rink that faced closure because the existing ice plant had been outlawed by European Union legislation.
The rink faced closure by the end of this year unless action was taken – and while Moray Councillors had agreed earlier this year to meet the estimated costs of around £300,000 for the new plant there were delays in identifying a suitable contractor.
Fears were finally laid to rest, however, with FT Refrigeration Ltd of Stockport confirmed as the preferred bidder to act as technical advisers for the project.
Graeme Summers, chairman of Ice4All who represents Skating, Ice Hockey and Curling groups at the rink, said: “This was one of the companies that we recommended so we are pleased that Moray Council is going with them.
“We are satisfied that we are going to be kept in the loop with site visits and meetings.”
A council spokesman said that the first task facing the company would be an appraisal exercise to analyse the technical aspects of the job and gather information from users.
FT Refrigeration Ltd managing director William Thomson said: “I’m very pleased that we have been awarded the contract for the design which will be about looking at the energy efficiency of the building.
“The procurement team from the council will be in touch when they want us to start work.”
Moray Leisure’s rink is used extensively by successful ice sports clubs and individuals including winter Paralympic bronze medal winners Jim Gault from Lossiemouth and Gregor Ewan from Elgin.