Councillors have considered a petition for an ice rink to be built in Chesterfield at a meeting held yesterday evening.
Adrian and Donna Todd submitted the petition with 1,498 signatures to Chesterfield Borough Council asking councillors to consider funding an ice rink on the site of the former Queen’s Park Sports Centre on Boythorpe Road.
After considering the points raised in the petition that an ice rink would increase physical fitness and provide stress relief for residents, improve community cohesion and offer new opportunities for disability sport, councillors passed a motion that:
The council’s cabinet will take into account the petition and the council debate when they make the decision on a suitable use for the former Queen’s Park Sports Centre site.
The council, if approached by an ice rink operator, will assist by identifying suitable sites and providing advice on planning and funding opportunities, including the development of external funding bids.
Councillor Amanda Serjeant, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for town centres and visitor economy said: “The petition and the debate at yesterday’s council meeting shows that there is support in the community for an ice rink in Chesterfield.
“The site of the former Queen’s Park Sports Centre is not a suitable site because there is little scope to add extra parking at the site and because any plans for the site must also fit in with the grade II* star listed Queen’s Park, requiring agreement from Historic England.
“In the current financial climate – which has seen our Government funding reduce by more than half since 2010 – it is not feasible for the council to build, maintain and cover the running costs of an ice rink.
“We will, however, support any commercial operators who feel they could build and sustain an ice rink by offering any advice and support to improve the borough’s sport and leisure offer.”
A consultation was held with residents in September and October last year with 583 residents taking part. Of these, 69 per cent agreed with the council’s preferred option for 3G sports pitches on the site which could be used for a variety of sports including football, rugby, hockey and athletics.
The council’s cabinet will meet next month to discuss the future use of the site.