When news happens text pix and video to 80360. Start your message with BE then leave a space.
Cherries boss gets skates on for rink
CHERRIES boss Eddie Mitchell is offering to kickstart plans for a new Olympic-sized ice rink in Bournemouth’s Kings Park.
The AFC Bournemouth chairman said he would speak to Max Demin, the football club’s Russian backer, about funding the proposals.
But he said he wanted a year’s exclusivity on the site to ensure they weren’t wasting their time.
He said: “Kings Park is a wonderful place to have an ice rink – it would complement the rest of the facilities here well.
“I would like to have a year’s exclusivity so that we could make approaches and have the time to see them through. I couldn’t risk the football club being involved in it as it’s a separate entity but I think if I had a year, we would have every chance of putting something together.
“Ice hockey and ice rinks are a big thing in Russia and I’m sure the club’s Russian backers would be interested in something like this.
“But it would take some dedication from the council as well. It’s easy to roll out an idea but when you see how many hoops people have to jump through, it normally takes forever and leaves everybody exhausted.”
The council has already secured outline planning permission for an ice rink at Kings Park and has offered to give the site to a company prepared to build and operate a rink.
However, the tender process for interested developers ended without generating a single bid and the plans have been put on hold until the state of the economy improves.
Cllr John Beesley, leader of Bournemouth Borough Council, said: “We are already in discussions with AFC Bournemouth regarding proposals for an ice stadium. Bournemouth council is fully committed to the development and has obtained outline planning consent for an ice stadium a couple of years ago.
“We are therefore very keen to see the development at Kings Park progressed and we are willing to work with those who wish to put forward their proposals.”