EAST Lancashire’s only ice rink has been sold to Silver Blades.

Blackburn Ice Arena in Lower Audley Street has been sold by The Peel Group, which owns the Trafford Centre.

Silver Blades is the second largest supplier of ice leisure in the UK next to Planet Ice with rinks in Gillingham, Cannock, Altrincham, Widnes, and Solihull.


A spokesman for Silver Blades said: “We are delighted at the acquisition of Blackburn and feel it is a perfect fit to extend our portfolio further into the North West.

“We are not looking to make any changes initially and can assure customers that it will be business as usual.

“There’s been a lot of changes in our industry over the last few years and it’s important that we respect the existing customers’ needs but equally engage a new and potentially emerging audience to take up skating.”

With ice skating losing media attention from the demise of Dancing on Ice and a need for international champions in all ice sports, some private operators have struggled to operate rinks at the level of attendance they were enjoying in the mid 80s when Torvill and Dean were wowing the public, as well more recently with the celebrity ice skating on prime time TV.

A spokesperson for The Peel Group, said: ‘The Blackburn Ice Arena is an important amenity for the community and we are proud of its success through our investment since opening in 1991.

“Silver Blades are the ideal purchasers to take the business forward, given their expertise in the Ice Arena and leisure market.”

The Arena is also home to the Blackburn Hawks Ice Hockey Team.