Concern as skating arena is put on ice

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Fears have been raised it could be up to six months before a new owner is found for a Fylde coast ice arena which is due to close in days.

The Gazette revealed yesterday the Jubilee Ice Arena in Cleveleys will close on Sunday, with 16 staff set to lose their jobs.

Today Jubilee ward Coun David Walmsley said the venue faces an uncertain future – and raised concerns it could be empty for months as the summer season ends.

He added: “My feeling is I hope it is not closed for too long. It is not a good time to close down with it being the end of the season.

“I imagine it could stay shut for most of the autumn and winter. People are more likely to want to launch a new business in the spring and summer, when it is busier.”

Jubilee Ice Arena director Mehdi Afshar told The Gazette he blamed Blackpool Council for the closure, after the authority approved planning permission for a rival ice rink – Fylde Coast Ice Arena in Bispham – three weeks ago.

He added: “Nobody has shown any interest in taking over the building.

“We are taking the ice rink out next week – it will never be an ice rink again, it will just become another derelict building. Your guess is good as mine what happens next.”

Coun Walmsley added: “The ice rink opening up in Blackpool, I do not know whether that has had bearing on the closure, but certainly having two rinks close together, there are going to be problems.”