Belfast Telegraph

Council planning a new skate-of-the-art Dundonald International Ice Bowl

BY CLAIRE WILLIAMSON

It's one of Northern Ireland's most popular visitor attractions – and now it's on course for a revamp.

A major redevelopment is planned for Dundonald International Ice Bowl, which has kept thousands entertained for more than two decades.

From budding ice-skaters to tenpin bowlers, adventure seeking families have flocked in their droves to the complex for the past 27 years.

The popular activity centre currently boasts an ice rink, Indiana Land jungle gym, a tenpin bowling alley, is equipped with a restaurant and is a favourite birthday hotspot for all ages.

But now Northern Ireland's third most popular visitor attraction – which pulls in 600,000-plus visitors every year –hopes to get a brand new building.

Castlereagh Borough Council said the proposed premises will be constructed adjacent to the current site on the Old Dundonald Road, and once it becomes fully operational the old Ice Bowl will be knocked down and the area landscaped.

The council has confirmed the new venue will house an Olympic-size ice rink, tenpin bowling alley and children's soft play area, as well as promising a number of other activities and functions which are still under consideration.

However, the project has yet to be granted planning permission, so it is unlikely to open for business until early 2017.

The council also said the cost of the build will not be known until the construction works are tendered.

Local residents have been informed about the development proposals via letters and have been invited to attend an information session this evening to learn more about the emerging plans.

They have been told the redevelopment will create a "brand new attraction" with "leisure, entertainment and well-being services under one roof".

Members of the lead design team for the project will be at the meeting to answer any questions and talk through the concept plans if required. During this time residents will also be able to view the new plans.

A spokeswoman for Castlereagh Borough Council said it was "very excited" by the proposals for the facility.

"Dundonald International Ice Bowl has been one of Northern Ireland's leading family attractions for 27 years," she said.

"The new facility will provide an even greater offering to the public and local economy and will build on this previous success," she added.

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