A happy return for skaters in Leeds

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Here’s another cool piece of news for skating fans in Leeds – the Ice Cube rink is heading back to the city at the start of next year.

Leeds City Council bosses today confirmed that the popular attraction will be in place in Millennium Square from January 22 to February 21.

News of its return comes just days after the Yorkshire Evening Post revealed that work is set to start in early 2016 on a permanent indoor ice rink near Leeds United’s Elland Road ground.

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Coun Judith Blake, leader of the council, said: “Ice Cube is one of our most popular events and a chance to try something unique and different right at the heart of the city centre.

“It’s always great to see people enjoying themselves out on the square and we’re very fortunate to have a space where we can host such a varied programme of innovative and exciting events.”

As reported in Saturday’s YEP, construction of the Elland Road rink was at one stage expected to begin last year.

Until recently, however, there has been little sign of life at the site, which lies between the Elland Road park-and-ride facility and the railway line to the west of the football stadium.

But now that a number of ground condition problems have been resolved, the firm behind the scheme, the Staffordshire-based Ice Rink Company, says it hopes building work will start in January.

Managing director Mark Johnson also says that once work is under way, the job could be done and dusted in just 30 weeks.

And he has revealed that the size of the Elland Road rink – which will run under the firm’s Silver Blades brand – has been increased from 1,000 to 1,500 seats.

The majority of its operating schedule will be made up of public skating sessions but it could also be home to an ice hockey team.

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