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Leeds gliding high with help of new ice rink

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Get your skates on – construction work is set to start on a permanent indoor ice rink next to Leeds United’s Elland Road ground.

Work on the 1,000-seater development is scheduled to begin in around four to six weeks, the Yorkshire Evening Post can reveal.

If all goes according to plan, the rink will welcome its first visitors in May or June next year.

The attraction will be owned by Staffordshire-based firm The Ice Rink Company and operated under its Silver Blades brand.

Silver Blades already runs successful rinks in Altrincham, Widnes, Cannock and Gillingham.

And managing director Mark Johnson is confident the firm’s venture into West Yorkshire will prove a similar hit.

He told the YEP: “We see Leeds as a very vibrant and up-and-coming city and we have got high hopes for this project.”

The majority of the rink’s weekly schedule will be made up of public skating sessions.

It will also be home to an ice hockey team while other sports that could be on offer include speed skating and curling.

The rink will stand between the recently-opened Elland Road park-and-ride site and the railway line to the west of the football ground.

Leeds’s appetite for skating has been highlighted by the popularity of the Ice Cube, an outdoor rink that temporarily takes up residence each winter in Millennium Square.

According to a city council report on the decision to grant the Silver Blades scheme planning permission, it will fill a gap in the area’s leisure provision.

It says: “Leeds currently does not have a permanent ice rink, the nearest such facilities are Bradford and Sheffield meaning that anyone wanting to participate in such activities has to travel to do so.

“The provision of this facility not only boosts the offer that Leeds as a city can make, but also enhances the provision in the West Yorkshire region, providing additional facilities to those already on offer in Bradford.”

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