Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Harvies closed for redevelopment

Scotland has one less curling facility this season. The rink in Stevenston, part of the Auchenharvie Leisure Centre, has closed, albeit temporarily.

K:A Leisure operates two ice rinks, one at Auchenharvie Leisure Centre (above) and the other at the Magnum Leisure Centre in Irvine. Harvies was a split level rink, with the lower level marked out for curling.

The news of the closure and redevelopment is posted here. As part of a £25 million investment in new sport and leisure facilities in North Ayrshire to replace the aging Magnum Leisure Centre, a new ice rink is to be constructed at the Auchenharvie Centre. This new rink will replace the existing facility at this site and will be of a standard design to meet the requirements of local clubs for ice dance and figure skating, curling, ice hockey, speed skating and general public skating. The plan is to secure the future of ice sports in the area and centralise provision for the whole of North Ayrshire at this site.

The Harvies rink closed on August 17. Work on the new rink is expected to start later in the year with completion in Spring 2011.

The other facilities such as the swimming pool are not affected and remain open as normal.

In the interim, the ice rink in the Magnum Leisure Centre at Irvine, shown above, remains open. A phone call to the facility this morning allowed me to confirm that new season curling sessions begin, on Mondays and Tuesdays only, from September 21. The session times are 6.30 and 8.45 pm. Clubs which used Harvies are apparently being accommodated at the Magnum.

I have fond memories of playing at the Magnum in the 1980s, when the local curlers there were very supportive of the efforts of the Graeme Adam team. I look forward to having a nostalgic visit there this season, before the facility closes for good, and all the curling is concentrated in the new Harvies rink. I assume that there will be curling at the Magnum next season too, as the new facility in Stevenston is not to be open until Spring 2011.

Did you know that there is a zoomable Google map on the RCCC website here, constructed by Lindsay Scotland, which shows the location of all Scotland's curling rinks? It's in the 'Learn & Play' section, in 'Where can I curl?' Clicking on each flag gives contact information for that rink.

Rink photos © Skip Cottage