Some of the UK’s most experienced leisure operators have shown interest operating the Derby Ice Rink which is scheduled to be constructed in the Becketwell area of the city.

The redevelopment of the Becketwell area is part of the wider regeneration programme within the City Centre Masterplan.

The Europe-wide search for an operator closed on Monday.

All the companies bidding are from the UK and each has experience in ice as well as a wide range of other leisure facilities across the country.

The companies are a mixture of public sector, trusts, and private sector.

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

A number of submissions have been received from companies with good track records of operating leisure facilities and we now look forward to taking the procurement process to the next stage.

It is very pleasing to see the confidence and interest that are being expressed in Derby’s economy by these bidders, who are all operating at the highest level in the leisure industry.

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

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.

The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership – the private sector-led partnership which promotes economic growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham, and Nottinghamshire – has provided a £4m facility to support the preparation of the Becketwell area for regeneration.