by Bailey Arnold-Wilkin
Work is looking to get underway at the Hull Ice Arena after 17 months of laying dormant, despite other rinks across England being able to reopen at various points throughout the pandemic.
Local hockey fans, ice hockey players and skaters alike will be delighted to hear the news that work is finally underway to reopen the rink.
The work is set to be complete by mid-September, just in time for Hull Pirates to commence their campaign in the 2021/22 regular season within the NIHL.
The inactivity left many skaters and ice hockey players of all ages being forced to travel to other nearby rinks to practice and play.
The arena was being operated under a minimum maintenance regime coinciding with the planned construction of a new ice arena in the £130 million Albion Square development in the city centre.
However this was delayed further due to the concerns of removing the famous Three Ships mural on the front of the former British Home Stores building, the site of the new development.
City council leader Daren Hale had to allay fears and concerns a couple of weeks ago that the revamp would be on time.
“We are listening to the concerns of these clubs, who represent the future of ice hockey and figure skating in the city,” he told the Hull Daily Mail.
“The Hull Arena is an important part of the city’s sport and leisure fabric and we are delighted that these works are underway so it can reopen to the public as quickly as possible.
“The companies working on it come with outstanding reputations and we have the highest confidence that the needs of the arena’s customers will be met.”
The Council commissioned a £1.4 million contract to national ice rink specialists Ice Tech UK and local construction company JP developers, who are tasked with fitting a new ice pad sheet and air systems, as well as general maintenance and repairs such as new changing rooms.
The work is set to extend the life of the ageing arena ,which was built in 1987, for another five years, after which the new ice pad will be transferred to the site of the arena when built, reportedly saving the council in the region of £350,000.