MP demands Scottish Government funding meeting to save historic ice rink

Murrayfield Ice Rink has not reopened since lockdown.Murrayfield Ice Rink has not reopened since lockdown.
Murrayfield Ice Rink has not reopened since lockdown.
An MP has written to request an urgent meeting with culture secretary Fiona Hyslop to secure government funding for Edinburgh's shuttered Murrayfield ice rink.

The letter, from Christine Jardine, MP for Edinburgh West, comes as a campaign to support the rink, which owners say will cost £50,000 to restart after lockdown, has gathered over 10,000 signatures on a petition.

The rink, which opened in 1952 and is privately owned, has been closed since lockdown began in March. Ice rinks in Scotland were given the green light to open at the end of August, but some have remained shut due to the high costs of freezing the ice, while income is reduced due to social distancing measures being in place, as well as a ban on ice hockey games, which generate income through ticket sales.

Many skaters have been forced to travel miles to train at other rinks elsewhere in Scotland – however, the recent legal travel ban, which is due to come into force tomorrow – means that those living in Edinburgh, which is in level three of the Scottish Government’s restrictions, will no longer be able to do so.

Skater Kyle Gerald has gathered over 10,000 signatures on a petition to save Murrayfield Ice Rink.Skater Kyle Gerald has gathered over 10,000 signatures on a petition to save Murrayfield Ice Rink.
Skater Kyle Gerald has gathered over 10,000 signatures on a petition to save Murrayfield Ice Rink.

Ms Jardine wrote: “As you will be aware, the current pandemic has left many businesses and independently run sports facilities struggling. This business is completely reliant on tens of thousands of people every month attending public skating sessions and the additional secondary spend from the footfall and Ice Hockey crowds to stay afloat.

“On 12 August, the ice rink informed people that operating under restricted activities would not be financially viable, and that they were seeking financial support. As of October, many staff who have been employed at Murrayfield for years have been made redundant. I am in dialogue with the owners and a local campaign group who have started a petition aimed at saving Murrayfield Ice Rink, which has now got over 10,000 signatures, and exploring funding avenues to support the rink.”

She added: “If the facility is to survive and meet the estimated costs it will be vital to investigate all ways of generating income which will be required over the coming months. Therefore, I would be extremely grateful if we could arrange a meeting at your earliest possible convenience to discuss possible funding avenues.”

Figure skater Kyle Gerald, who launched a petition on, which now has 10,089 signatures, said: “I am overwhelmed with the response from everyone that has signed and shared the petition.

“It just goes to show the support and love that people have for the rink across not only Edinburgh but the country. This also shows how unique the rink is and how many people are reliant on it for their physical and emotional well-being as well as those who love ice skating as a pass time or social activity.”

He added: “Hopefully from the response we have had to the petition, we can get the rink the support it so well deserves as well as all of the other sport facilities requiring assistance during this time. Sport cannot be forgotten about.”

Ms Hyslop has not yet responded to a request for comment.

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