Get your skates on! Olympic standard ice arena to be completed in Cardiff by 2015
A £16m Olympic standard ice rink will be built in Cardiff by next year as part of a £400m investment into the International Sports Village in the Welsh capital.
Greenbank Partnerships Ltd, the company behind the development of the final phases of the International Sports Village, has announced it has signed the build contract for the construction of the world class ice arena by 2015.
Work on the foundations of the project in Cardiff Bay started at the end of last month.
The arena will take 71 weeks to build and will be fitted out by the end of summer 2015 ahead of the 2015/16 ice hockey season.
Cardiff Council leader Phil Bale said the development will bring jobs and investment.
He said: "When completed next summer, this arena will attract tens of thousands of visitors, as well as providing additional facilities for residents living in this part of the city."
Jonathan Smith, development director of Greenbank Partnerships, said: “I’m sure this news will be received well by all winter sports enthusiasts in South Wales, and in particular by the extensive ice community in Cardiff who have waited patiently for many years for a new ice arena in Cardiff.
“Greenbank Partnerships has been funding the preliminary site works at its own risk while the final design and contractual details were being sorted. That commitment has ensured that the new Ice Arena Wales opens in time for the 2015 Ice Hockey season.
"The signing of the build contract today means that work on the new facility can start in earnest. We hope to see the first foundation piles going in next week, followed quickly by the steelwork. I think it’s only when people see the scale of the building that they will understand just how complex the design and planning has been.
“From the outset, Greenbank has worked hard with members of the ice users’ community and Cardiff Council to ensure that we deliver a quality development that meets their needs and exceeds aspirations. I believe we have achieved this.
"Ice Arena Wales will be a world-class facility capable of holding Olympic and European standard events, but which will be available to all members of the public and local schools, in addition to the extensive network of amateur and professional teams that play currently from the existing rink. We are working with the National Ice Skating Association to provide world-class coaching facilities that befit an arena of this quality.”
Greenbank operations director Chris Hartrey formerly managed the Wales National Ice Rink and the current Cardiff Ice Arena and said: "Cardiff has only had a single ice pad venue for the past 27 years, which has brought limitations to the range of sports we can host. The new 6,000 square metre twin-pad Ice Arena Wales opens up a whole host of opportunities.
"We can really expand the ice sports programme for Cardiff, bringing new sports to the capital such as curling, in addition to figure skating, junior and senior hockey, entertainment and leisure skating, winter sports and hockey tournaments.
“To have a venue of this standard will make Ice Arena Wales (IAW) one of the leading sporting and leisure destinations in the UK.”