A NEW multimillion-pound National Curling Centre is to be created in Scotland.
Stirling Council and sportscotland, the Scottish Government's national agency for sport, will invest an initial £2.25 million to develop the facilities at Stirling Sports Village.
The announcement follows a surge of interest in the sport generated by the silver and bronze medal success of the all-Scottish Team GB curlers captained by David Murdoch and Eve Muirhead at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
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Professional athletes and members of the public are expected to benefit from the new facilities at The Peak, the sports village's indoor complex.
ParalympicsGB curling team captain Aileen Neilson said: "Today's announcement could not have come at a better time and helps cement Stirling's reputation as the capital of performance curling while giving many others access to high-quality curling and other sporting facilities.
"The enthusiasm generated by recent achievements will help propel me and the rest of ParalympicsGB towards performing at our very best in Sochi."
Ice capacity is to be increased as part of the plans and the sport's governing body, the Royal Caledonian Curling Club, is also in discussions with Stirling Council to relocate its and British Curling's head offices and the National Curling Museum to The Peak.
Shona Robison, minister for sport and Commonwealth Games, said: "The Peak has played a crucial role in the success our curlers have enjoyed so far in Sochi.
"A National Curling Centre will build on this success and secure a lasting legacy for the sport."