Greenbank Partnerships Ltd, the company behind the development of the final phases of the International Sports Village and the Cardiff Pointe housing scheme in Cardiff Bay, has signed the build contract that will see the construction of the new Olympic-standard Ice Arena Wales (IAW) by 2015.
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.
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.
When completed, IAW will be operated by a company established by Greenbank for the purpose. The Operations Director of that company is former manager of the Wales National Ice Rink and the current Cardiff Ice Arena, Chris Hartrey, who 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 6,000sqm 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 IAW one of the leading sporting and leisure destinations in the UK.
Mark Phillips, Vice Chairman of Save Our Rink Action Committee (SORAC), said:
It is so exciting to see the new ice arena coming out of the ground. The focus of our campaign has always been to see top-class ice facilities return to Cardiff, and the plans being developed by Greenbank are fantastic.
IAW will provide winter sports fans with a superb arena and will create a world-class training and leisure destination. The opening of Ice Arena Wales next year will see our decade-long campaign achieve its goal. Of that, everyone at SORAC can be proud.
Cardiff City Council leader, Phil Bale, added:
I am delighted that the start of construction for this £16m flagship development will begin soon. This is the next exciting phase of the £400m investment in the International Sports Village and is excellent news for the construction, leisure and tourism industries.
This development will bring jobs, investment and another iconic state-of-the-art facility to Cardiff, further enhancing the city as a world class sporting capital.
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.
Initial site preparations for the 3,000 seat, twin-pad ice arena started at the end of February under a preliminary contract. This enabled site investigation works to commence, major regarding works and the erection of hoardings and site offices. Piling works for the foundations commenced at the end of March.
The 71-week build programme will see the new Arena completed and fitted out by the end of summer 2015, ahead of the 2015/16 ice hockey season.