Ice rink boost from factory demolition

Demolition of the old TVR buildings, Bristol Avenue, Bispham.
Demolition of the old TVR buildings, Bristol Avenue, Bispham.
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The owners of a Blackpool ice rink are hoping the end of an era for one historic building could bring a new era for them.

Bosses behind the Fylde Coast Ice Arena at Bristol Avenue, Bispham, said the demolition of part of the former TVR factory will enable them to invest in their building.

Dan Nicholson who owns the business along with his wife Vycki said today it was sad to see a link to Blackpool’s famous motor manufacturing industry go.

He said: “It is a shame that an iconic building associated with the TVR name has to go.

“It was not in great condition almost 10 years after the company closed and most of the businesses that were in there relocated.

“It will be used for car parking.

“The good thing is that it opens up the site and opens our business up to passers-by.

“We’re out of sight from the road and even many people living in the area did not know we were here.

“Nearly all of our customers are local but we aim to be an integral part of the community and this will help us.

“We will be able to invest in the building now and look at improving the fascia outside.

“It was a bit pointless before the demolition work as the TVR building obscured the view.”

He said the ice rink had overcome initial difficulties and was thriving after being set up 18 months ago.

Local skaters had staged a campaign backing the rink’s planning application after others had opposed the planning application.

“We have a lot of young skaters here and have groups for young figure skaters and a young ice hockey team.

“The majority of the youngsters using the Fylde Coast Ice Arena have started and learned to skate here.

“We have the Fylde Coast Figure Skating Club and the Fylde Coast Phantoms under 13’s hockey team who are going strong and are recruiting at the moment.

“The hockey matches are free to watch so people from the community can come along and give the under 13s there support.”

Demolition teams started work this month on razing the former car manufacturing building fronting onto Bristol Avenue.

A second building next door which was also part of the TVR factory will remain and is home to a series of businesses including a gym, a lawn mower specialist, a car servicing garage and several motor vehicle businesses which specialise in repairs and renovations of TVR sports cars.

TVR moved to Bristol Avenue in 1970 from its former site at Hoo Hill, Blackpool.

In 1981 businessman and TVR car enthusiast Peter Wheeler bought the company and produced some of its most iconic models from Bristol Avenue.

He sold TVR to Russian Nicolai Smolenski in July 2004 but retained ownership of the land which remains in possession of the Wheeler trust, following his death in 2009.

In 2013, Mr Smolenski sold TVR to TVR Automotive Ltd, a UK company led by Les Edgar who plans to launch his first car in 2017 in a partnership with with designer Gordon Murray and Cosworth.