Cambridge Ice Arena construction is to start 'imminently'
A legal agreement that has been holding the project back has now been signed.
Construction of a new ice rink on the edge of Cambridge is due to begin after a £1.85million loan from South Cambridgeshire District Council has been agreed.
Cambridge Leisure and Ice Centre (CLIC) will receive the loan to ‘bridge a funding gap’ and enable the facility to enter construction phase.
CLIC say the venue on land off Newmarket Road, which is to be leased from Marshall of Cambridge, is expected to be completed by summer 2018.
Professor Bill Harris, Chairman of CLIC, said: “We are delighted to have bridged our funding gap with the £1.85million loan now agreed with South Cambridgeshire District Council.
“Our thanks also go to Marshall for providing a brilliant venue for the project, to Cambridge University, specifically the alumni of the Ice Hockey teams who have provided the majority of the funding, and also to many members of the local community who have donated funds and hard work to get this new exciting community ice arena on the map.
“With just a few minor items to finalise, the Cambridge Ice Arena will be starting construction imminently.”
The loan, which was approved by Full Council last year, was the last piece of the funding jigsaw necessary to allow CLIC to begin building work on site via their development partner, Cool Venues.
The 56 metre by 26 metre permanent rink, with room for up to 1,000 spectators, will be built to international standards next to the Road Park and Ride site.
The facility will be open to the public and sporting groups, and built using the latest construction technologies to reduce its environmental impact and make it one of the most energy efficient ice rinks in the UK.
Before identifying the land at Newmarket Road, CLIC had been searching for a site in and around Cambridge to locate a rink for more than 20 years.
Councillor Simon Edwards, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “I’m really pleased that this agreement, which paves the way for construction work to start, has been signed.
“I know this rink has been in the pipeline in many years, but I’m confident we will soon have one of the best ice facilities in the country.
“The loan that we are providing is a vital piece of funding towards a facility that a huge number of South Cambridgeshire residents will benefit from.
“It will also generate a return that we can then plough into local services that our residents want and need.”
Robert Marshall, the Group Chief Executive of Marshall, said: “We are delighted the new Ice Rink is finally in a position to proceed, and combined with our support in providing a site we believe the new facility will be an excellent location for the Cambridge community to enjoy ice skating activities.
“Having the venue so close to our new Wing housing development will help to further establish a strong new community.”