Plea for ice rink in Cumbernauld

Skater Peter McWilliams is bemoaning the lack of facilities in Cumbernauld for his sport
Skater Peter McWilliams is bemoaning the lack of facilities in Cumbernauld for his sport

ITS HEYDAY was the 1980s as a generation of Cumbernauld youngsters got their skates on at The Ice House.

Skating boots were the must-have gift at Christmas and birthdays in countless Cumbernauld households as fans of the sport flocked to the highly popular town centre amenity - as pop hits blared from loudspeakers.

Here teens were able to meet pals while honing their technique on the ice - whilst heeding the crucial fitness message into the bargain.

Now The Ice House has lain disused for well over a decade and those who wish to skate must do so as far away as East Kilbride.

For one young man that’s just not good enough – and he has urged North Lanarkshire Council to consider investing closer to home.

He is dedicated figure skater Peter McWilliams (14) of Sandyknowes Road in Carbrain.

Peter, who attends Our Lady’s High School, said: “I usually have to go to the Time Capsule ice rink in Coatbridge but this closed down close to three years ago for refurbishment and has only recently gained the funding to finish the work being done. I have received news that the work should be finished at around the beginning of August later this year, but until then I cannot skate as there are no ice rinks in the area,” he added.

Peter also believes that the council is funding football-based initiatives at the expense of other sports, adding: “I would like them to raise as much money as possible and stop creating more football pitches. I do know that they are trying to get kids involved with sports but why don’t they try to get kids more involved with a different variety of sports?’’

A council spokesman said this week: “We have no plans to build a new ice rink.”

It is understood, however, that the main reason is the prohibitive cost at a time of spending cuts and austerity measures. A new ice rink would require several million pounds to build and incur expensive running costs.

It has also been pointed out that the Time Capsule in Coatbridge aims to serve all of North Lanarkshire, while the Broadwood sports facility in Cumbernauld includes a range of sporting facilities.