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Inverness Ice Centre in move to attract more off-ice events

By Neil MacPhail

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Inverness Ice Centre has lodged a planning application in connection with its drive to attract more non ice events.

The charity is seeking planning permission from Highland Council to erect a temporary marquee and establishment of outside seating and catering area for seasonal events within the car park.

In January the centre's board opted to switch off the facility's ice plant between April 10 and July 1 to save on the high cost of keeping it running.

If the plan is approved there will still be 47 parking spaces remaining, a loss of about 10 spaces.

It hopes to host a variety of off-ice events during this time in order to generate some more cash flow for the sports and recreation charity.

Already the popular annual Strictly Inverness has been held during May to raise funds for the Highland Hospice as well as both professional and amateur boxing events.

Professional darts is scheduled on June 2, with the Ice Centre also hosting the sold-out Callum Beattie gig on June 3. Support acts include local artists Dylan Tierney and Callum MacPhail.

Folk who enjoy a tipple can enjoy the return of Ness Gin Fest on June 17, with independent gin distillers attending. The festival will include live music, a fizz and cocktail bar and the popular Instagram station.

Also making a return is the Whisky Over Ice event, on June 24.

Mr Gordon Barron chief executive of Inverness Ice Centre said recently: “We are really looking forward to hosting a variety of events this summer. We are passionate about the longevity of the Ice Centre for the community, and this is why we have made the decision to defrost the ice for three months.

"We are working with local partners in order to make sure that these events are superb, and run to the best standard. Our Gin Festival and Whisky Over Ice were great successes in 2022, so we are hoping that they will be even better this year!”

The application is under consideration by Highland Council.

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