Roller talks hope for arena

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The future of a Fylde coast ice rink took another turn after it was revealed an approach has been made to turn the site into a rollerskating centre.

The owners of Rollersclub, a company which organises rollerblading evenings across the region, want to launch sessions at the Jubilee Ice Arena in Cleveleys which closed on Sunday.

The group, which has sessions in Wilmslow, Macclesfield and Knutsford, as well as Palatine Sports Centre in South Shore and Blackpool Sports Centre, want to start skating evenings at the North Promenade-based venue.

Nikki Hughes, who manages Rollersclub in Blackpool, said discussions were due to take place with the owners of the ice arena

She added: “Rollersclub is quite a busy and popular thing.

“I’ve run the idea by a few people and they are quite positive about us turning it into a rollerskating centre.

“It is all dependant on the cost of hiring the rink itself and whether it is workable, but I have had quite a few people saying it would be a great thing.

“If it did go ahead, it would have to be viable – we would run a few sessions a week and see if we could expand it, based on how busy it is.”

The ice arena – formerly known as SubZero – closed on Sunday with the loss of 16 

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 – four weeks ago.

But David Owen, chairman of Blackpool Council’s planning committee, said the committee could not “resist applications on the basis of commercial competition”.

Today Jubilee ward councillor David Walmsley welcomed the rollerskating proposal.

He added: “I do not know how permanent it would be, but it would have the building occupied.

“I am encouraged someone at such an early stage is looking to take over the building.

“It is a hub for entertainment up there and the more cars in the car park the better.

“Cars bring people and with them a spending power and that cascades around the area.

“I have nothing but support for these people.”