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The deal marks ICITIES first major project and will be Planet Ice’s 15th and biggest venue in the UK


Regeneration specialists Peel Waters have agreed terms with property investment company ICITIES to create a brand-new ice arena in TraffordCity, Manchester. ICITIES has also secured a major pre-let to Planet Ice to bring their award-winning ice-leisure offer to the UK’s preeminent retail and leisure destination.

The TraffordCity ice arena will be Planet Ice’s biggest venue in the UK and their 15th Ice Arena in the UK. The purpose-built facility will feature a state-of-the-art ice rink, which will also convert into a multi-use event space.

Situated next to the Chill Factore and iFLY, the 3-acre development will be located on the former Soccer Dome site which was cleared by Peel Waters last year in preparation for future leisure developments.

More details and images of the proposed venue will be released closer to the planning submission, which will also include plans for several varied and inclusive onsite food and drink offerings, including grab & go options, a stylish family dining restaurant and a high-end sports bar.

The ICITIES deal follows on from the recent announcement of Tartan Leisure being brought in by Peel Waters to deliver the first inland surf destination in the North of England which will also be located at TraffordCity.

The new ice-leisure and events destination will further enhance TraffordCity’s expanding portfolio of sport-based leisure and experience offerings, which already includes skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, skydiving as well as being the home of Trafford Golf, which is one of Europe’s premieregolf practice facilities.

The news of the Planet Ice deal starts off an incredibly exciting year for TraffordCity, with Therme Manchester, the UK’s first city-based wellbeing resort, also set to start on site imminently, further enhancing TraffordCity as the hotspot for inclusive leisure and next generation experiences.

James Whittaker and Nick Payne
Pictured James Whittaker, Peel Waters with Nick Payne, ICITIES

Best in class sports and leisure

Nick Payne, Director of ICITIES said: “This marks our first major project and our vision to develop best-in-class sports and leisure Stadiums and Arenas in the UK. We already enjoy a strong partnership with Planet Ice, and ice skating will be the cornerstone of many of our projects like this one at TraffordCity.

“This arena will be our showcase and we hope to attract other allied sports and entertainment operators to this project. Where we can, we would like to include facilities that educate and entertain children and the wider communities.

“Across the UK, there is a general lack of first-rate facilities for many event space operators, like virtual reality, Esports, racket sports as well as screening and live entertainment. This project at TraffordCity, like many others we plan to develop, will address this need.

“We are delighted to have signed this groundbreaking deal with Peel Waters within the neighbourhood they have created at TraffordCity which is a perfect mix of sports and leisure. We hope our development we will add to the community and be a significant addition to TraffordCity which is already a world class retail and leisure destination.”

Boosting the local economy

James Whittaker, Executive Director, at Peel Waters added: “Peel Waters is extremely pleased to have secured another brilliant attraction to TraffordCity. Planet Ice will be a huge success in TraffordCity and together with the existing and proposed diverse mix of offerings, we believe TraffordCity will be the UK’s best retail and leisure destination.

“Alongside boosting the local and visitor economy and attracting investment into the area, we are committed to increasing jobs and opportunities for our local community. Through our long-term vision for TraffordCity, Peel has helped create 17,500 jobs within the destination to date with plans to increase this to 33,000 over the next 20 years.

“This is great news to start off the year and 2024 promises to be another extremely exciting year for Peel Waters and TraffordCity!”

Heath Rhodes, COO of Planet Ice, also added: “We are delighted to announce our commitment to lease a new venue at TraffordCity. Peel Waters wants to attract the best leisure operators to TraffordCity, and we are keen to be working in partnership with them and ICITIES to develop a Planet Ice branded venue at this location.

“Situated next to the Chill Factore and with easy access to and from the M60 means our customers from Liverpool, Warrington and Manchester are all within close range.
“The venue will be very complementary to our existing facilities in the northwest, in particular Altrincham, where we are often at capacity. We plan to provide a large seating capacity at the new venue for on and off ice entertainment. Furthermore, we plan to invest in our Altrincham site, so having this new facility close by will allow our customers full access to ice during any works we do at Oakfield Road.”

The estimated build time of the ice-arena and event space will be approximately 12-15 months once the team starts on site.

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