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Last updateWed, 17 Jan 2018 4pm

Skating on thin ice

A 20 year wait to build a new ice rink on the edge of Cambridge is finally over.

The scheme on the Newmarket Road, Park and Ride site owned by Marshall Group Properties, has been able to progress, courtesy of a £1.85million loan to Cambridge Leisure and Ice Centre (CLIC) from the South Cambridgeshire District Council.

Scheduled for completion in Autumn 18’, developments are now under way on the amenity, with local business Mick George Ltd contracted by Melcon Services Ltd, to complete associated Earthworks on the project. 

The initiative was the brain child of former University of Cambridge student, David Gattiker, who bequeathed £1m with the aim of bringing a permanent Ice Hockey venue to the City. The late’ Gattiker was a successful Chemical Engineer and himself represented Cambridge University Ice Hockey Club (1921 – 1931).

Professor Bill Harris, Chairman of CLIC said ‘’A massive thanks goes out to all those who have helped make this wonderful community project finally go forward. It is due to the tireless work and generosity of like-minded people from many sectors of the greater community who appreciate the multitude of benefits that such a facility will bring to Cambridge.’’

Cambridge Ice Arena will be fitted with a full-size (56m x 26m), international-standard ice pad and will incorporate the latest technologies to ensure maximum operational efficiency. It also boasts a 340-seated area, as well as additional room for several-hundred more standing spectators, taking the total allocation past the 1,000 mark.

The venue will accommodate over 500 skaters, providing leisure and figure skating, ice hockey, speed skating (short circuit) and curling opportunities, as well as public ice sessions/discos, training and professional development. Four changing rooms, a café and multi-use entertainment/community area will also compliment the main provisions available.

The site for the Cambridge Ice Arena will put the ice rink on a gateway to the city and be an icon for Eastern Cambridge. Sitting just 3.1 miles from Cambridge’s Market Square, the venue is less than one mile from the new Cambridge railway station. 

Having nurtured the Arena from the initial feasibility, Cool Venues, the turnkey development partner of CLIC’s will manage the project through to completion. Once built, the facility will be operated by Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL).

Michael George, Contracts Director at Mick George Ltd commented: ‘’The Arena is likely to be a huge hit with the Cambridgeshire community, and we’re thrilled to have played some part in constructing the facility.’’