A Europe-wide search for an operator to run the proposed Derby Ice Rink has been launched.

A call for proposals was published today in the Official Journal of the European Union.

The Council is inviting bids from companies with successful track-records of commercially driven ice rinks and who can make inputs into the design of the facility.

Candidates will be required to submit financial, commercial, operational, legal and technical proposals by 14.00 on the 4th December 2017 to be considered.

A shortlisting of applicants is expected to be completed by year end. The second phase will be refinement of the proposals by the shortlisted applicants with a final decision on a preferred operator by summer 2018 which will be taken to Cabinet.

The criteria for awarding will be based on a range of factors including cost, operational, technical and commercial. It must also be able to be self-financing with no operational subsidy from the Council and must be able to generate adequate income to repay any borrowing required.

Venue specialist consultants, engaged by the Council, have said that the site is suited to a 500-capacity indoor international ice-rink, for individual leisure users as well as competition ice-skating and ice-hockey teams, and a 70-station gym and dance/exercise studio.

Deputy leader of the City Council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economy, Cllr Martin Rawson, said:

Having remained derelict for many decades, we are finally on the way to regenerating this section of the city into an exciting leisure development which will provide more than 60 permanent jobs, attract a quarter million people per year and boost the local economy by an estimated £3.3 million per year.

This is an example that the decision in 2014 by the Labour-led Council to take the lead to remove the barriers to development was the right thing to do.”