Page last updated at 15:32 GMT, Sunday, 31 August 2008 16:32 UK

City ice rink plans are welcomed

Plans have been revealed for the return of a permanent ice rink to Durham City.

The city has been without a rink since the Riverside arena closed in 1996 when it was home to Durham Wasps.

The Mandale Group is in talks to turn the former LG Philips site at Belmont into a 3,000-seat complex including shops.

Durham City MP Roberta Blackman-Woods, who has campaigned for the return of a permanent ice rink, said the move would help to create jobs.

Initial discussions have opened with Durham City Council over planning consent.

Young people

The rink would form part of a proposed 42-acre business park.

Dr Blackman-Woods said: "This is great news. In particular, I am pleased that my suggestion of Belmont as a possible site for a new ice rink has ultimately been successful.

"One of my key campaigns has been to try and get more facilities for young people in our city, and a new ice rink is part of that effort.

"Having more and better leisure facilities is key to local sport and tourism, and the new site should create more jobs too."

It is expected the project could create up to 200 jobs by the time it is completed in late 2009.

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