A “TOTEMIC" curling facility in Perth looks set to be retained in some form after councillors U-turned on unpopular plans to get rid of the sport in the area.

Council chiefs had tabled plans to shut down the ice rink at the Dewars Centre where Olympic gold medallist Eve Muirhead learnt to curl and countless other stars have honed their craft.

Muirhead expressed her shock at plans to close the rink along with Perth Leisure Pool and the Bell's Sports Centre, with Dewars being described as the “Hampden Park of curling” by Scottish Curling CEO Vincent Bryson.

Bryson said it would be an "extinction level" event for the sport if curling were to be axed in Perth.

But councillors have now agreed a costed plan including an ice rink should be brought forward by August this year.

The proposal to replace Dewars, Perth Leisure Pool and Bell’s Sport Centre with one single site offering swimming and sport facilities – with no ice rink – was met with widespread opposition.

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Curlers  from around the world backed a campaign to keep the sport in Perth while a petition to protect leisure swimming in Perth had attracted over 1700 signatures.

World Curling is based in Perth and councillors were hit with a "tonne" of emails about the plans ahead of the meeting.

Following the public outcry, SNP council leader Grant Laing moved to progress revised plans for the merger facility to now include an ice rink and leisure swimming.

The motion supported requested "further work" be "undertaken on curling usage, market trends, and affordability factors as well as "consideration of growth opportunities for curling".

The revised SNP motion also requested "options for the sustainable provision of ice at PH20 being included within the transition plan".

Bryson told The National: “We are delighted that we were given the opportunity to speak to council members.

“It was great to have [former world champion] Pete Loudon alongside me and we both made a good case for curling.

“It’s very positive for us because the council have listened and the community have been heard. We’ve now effectively got a seat at the table to contribute to what ice provision looks like.

“I am meeting with council officers on Thursday so we are moving with haste.

“I think it’s nothing but positive for the residents of Perth, we saw lots of people in the public gallery during the meeting. The members themselves have been very positive about how iconic Perth is for curling.”

Both the Conservative and Labour groups tabled two separate amendments calling for more.

Labour wanted the motion to include a "costed option for a separate family friendly leisure pool area to complement the swimming pool facilities in a revised PH2O proposal".

The Conservatives wanted it to include this and for a user-reference group to be established and a costed option "which would allow Perth to host curling competitions and events up to an including national and international level".

Labour ended up supporting the Tory amendment but the SNP motion was approved by 23 votes to 15.