Ambition for new Leeds indoor ice rink finally skates forward with builders set to move in

Hoardings up at the site of the new Leeds ice rink at Elland Road. Picture by Scott Merrylees.

Hoardings up at the site of the new Leeds ice rink at Elland Road. Picture by Scott Merrylees.

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Work on a brand new indoor ice rink next to Leeds United’s Elland Road ground is due to start on January 11.

Delays have set the project back by more than a year but Staffordshire-based Ice Rink Company, which is behind the build, is hopeful that construction will start within days.

An artist's impression of the new ice rink planned for Elland Road, Leeds.

An artist's impression of the new ice rink planned for Elland Road, Leeds.

Hoardings have been erected around the site, which lies between the Elland Road park-and-ride facility and the railway line to the west of the football stadium, ahead of a late 2016 opening.

Ice Rink Company managing director Mark Johnson sees the new permanent facility as the firm’s prized asset in its portfolio of seven rinks.

Mr Johnson said: “It would be a flagship rink from a point of view that we are moving into a major city in Leeds. We are keen to come to Leeds and put skating on the map.”

He said initial groundworks will start next week to prepare the area for the new facility, which will operate under the firm’s Silver Blades brand, before the 30-week build can begin. The whole process will take at least 42 weeks.

Following planning approval it was initially suggested that building work would start in 2014 but a series of ground condition problems, including the need to cap an old mineshaft, delayed any progress.

The highly anticipated ice rink will feature 1,500 seats and predominantly play host to public skating sessions although it could also be home to an ice hockey team.

A Leeds City Council report to grant the Silver Blades scheme planning permission said that the “facility not only boosts the offer that Leeds as a city can make, but also enhances the provision in the West Yorkshire region”.

Silver Blades is aiming to build on the popularity of the city’s temporary Ice Cube rink, which visits Millennium Square each winter.

The Ice Rink Company currently runs facilities in Blackburn, Solihull, Widnes, Cannock, Altrincham and Gillingham.