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The Blue Ice Plaza Complex in Solihull has reported a rise in visitor levels following a £1.1 million investment in improvements to the ice rink. And with the spotlight on ice skating following the success of the ITV1 show Dancing on Ice plus the forthcoming arrival of hit touring production Holiday on Ice to the region, the popular leisure venue is gearing up for a busy end to the winter season.

With a new ice pad now in place, recent weekend visitor numbers at the complex have increased by 10 percent compared to figures recorded during the same period last year, with visitor levels doubling at weekends compared to weekday numbers. As ice rink manager, Stuart Cummings explained, visitor levels have also been boosted by the band of celebrities who have taken to the ice in the New Year, including some of the UK’s best-loved soap stars, singers and sporting heroes.

Stuart said: “With shows such as Dancing on Ice becoming increasingly popular, ice skating is enjoying something of a renaissance across the country. Here in Solihull, weekends at the Blue Ice Plaza have been particularly busy, as fans of the show hit the ice to try their hand at the sport. Places on our five week ‘Learn to Skate’ courses have been filling up fast, and we are delighted to see so many members of the public benefitting from the £1.1m works that were completed late last year.”

One such visitor to the Solihull rink was rugby international turned ice skating star Kyran Bracken MBE, who dropped by to brush up on his skating skills in preparation for his participation in the touring production of Holiday on Ice.

Stuart added: “With the refurbishment complete, we are well placed to welcome all new visitors to the complex, and we are fully geared up to accommodate the range of activities we offer here from disco and group sessions to family fun days, ice hockey and speed skating. We attract visitors here of all ages, from teenagers meeting with friends at half term to parents bringing their toddlers in the hope that they might become professionals later in life!

“Families in particular are a growing group of customers, looking for an alternative way to spend some time together and get fit at the same time. Private tuition is also available for budding ice skaters from nine NISA qualified instructors.”

The ice rink on Hobs Moat Road is one of Solihull’s most popular leisure destinations and is the only ice skating facility to accommodate customers from the wider Birmingham area. It is jointly owned by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and Leisure Living Ltd – a subsidiary of St. Modwen, the UK’s leading regeneration specialist. The essential improvement works at the complex included the installation of a new ceiling, ice pad and replacement barrier; and during the six months it took to carry out essential improvement works, the entire staff at Blue Ice were retained and involved in redecorating the centre.

Julie Rossiter, senior asset manager for St. Modwen added: “It is extremely encouraging to see that the Blue Ice Plaza Complex has benefitted from the recent reinvestment in its facilities. Despite the challenges of the current economic climate, the wide appeal of the venue is growing; and as the buzz around ice skating continues over the forthcoming months, the complex is on track for a very successful winter season.”

The ice rink at the Blue Ice Plaza Complex in Solihull is open seven days a week, with other on site facilities including restaurants, a snooker club and gym. For further information visit or call 0121 742 5561.