Minister for Public Health and Sport Aileen Campbell today (Wednesday) threw the first stone to declare the new £3.15 million National Curling Academy open.

The world-class facility at Stirling Sports Village, the latest hub project to complete, is Scotland’s first dedicated curling academy which ensures that from now on Team Scotland, Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes and community players have year-round access to high-quality ice to train on.

As well as helping the sport develop from a grassroots perspective, the National Curling Academy provides a year-long training environment where the continuous delivery of outstanding coaching and support programmes to our world-class athletes can take place.

Welcoming the new Academy, Minister for Public Health and Sport Aileen Campbell said:

“I’m delighted to have thrown the first official stone at the excellent National Curling Academy. This outstanding facility will really help the sport grow in Scotland as our world-class athletes and club members can now practice right throughout the year on the highest quality ice.”

Stirling Council Leader Scott Farmer said:

"The opening of the National Curling Academy further cements Stirling's reputation as a hub of excellence for sport and physical activity. This year round, high quality training venue will make a significant difference to both our world-class athletes and local community clubs.”

Performance Director at the sportscotland institute of sport, Mike Whittingham, said:

“We’re delighted that sportscotland and Stirling Council’s investment partnership has resulted in a world-class facility and home to curling in Scotland. The sport now has a terrific opportunity to attract new, grassroots curlers while, simultaneously, a dedicated hub for our performance athletes can help them continue to achieve excellent results on the world stage.

“The technology in the National Curling Academy is cutting-edge and a welcome addition to our Olympic and Paralympic training programmes.”

Women’s 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Team GB skip and Olympic, World and European bronze medallist, Eve Muirhead, believes the new facility gives the British Curling programme a real edge over rival nations:

“I am really impressed with the new Academy and it has made our lives easier and I know it has made the coaches’ lives easier as well. Video will be available so that you can analyse your game right down to the tiniest margins – if anyone has a facility like that I don’t know what makes it better and I can’t see anyone beating this.

“It’s fantastic turning up to training knowing that you have this facility on your doorstep and it has made a big difference to us already and I know it will right up to the Olympics and for the future of curling.”

hub East Central Scotland managed the entire project from the early development and procurement stage, to commissioning the main contractor and project team and final hand over on completion.

Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive, hub East Central Scotland, said:

“Our teams worked closely with sportscotland and Stirling Council to deliver a first class facility on time and budget that will ensure a bright future for Scottish Curling.”

David Cairns, managing director of main contractor Robertson Central East, said:

“Stirling is Robertson Group’s headquarters so it was a particular pleasure to work on such a major project on our doorstep. The construction phase went smoothly and I’m sure that those who use the National Curling Academy will enjoy the high-quality facility for a long time to come.”

The National Curling Academy was awarded £1,425,000 from sportscotland and £1,726,566 from Stirling Council to make a total project cost of £3,151,566.