NEW plans are being submitted to bring an ice rink back to the city.

The man behind previous plans to build an ice rink at the King Alfred is hoping to build a new ice rink at Victoria Recreation Ground in Portslade, which he believes will prove to be a popular attraction for residents and tourists.

Simon James is seeking pre-planning advice from Brighton and Hove City Council planners and believes it will cost just £1.5million to get his dream off the ground.

He said: “There have been numerous attempts to provide an ice facility in the city and we have been proactively looking for commercial opportunities for several years.

“They include the unused land above the ten pin bowling area at the King Alfred.

It has come to our attention that Victoria Recreation Ground in Portslade has three underused football pitches and it lends itself as a very good location for a non permanent modular structure to house a full sized ice rink.”

He said the 30 by 60 metre rink, with a 600 seat auditorium would be big enough to host sporting events, leisure activities and ice shows.

He added: “Victoria Park would be an ideal site for this ice rink project with the intention that it would initially be a three to five year pilot scheme on a renewable lease.

With Portslade Station and bus services located nearby it is a very convenient place to travel to, which is an added bonus.

“An application for Pre Planning Advice has just been sent to the council, but we understand that public support from neighbours in the direct vicinity of the recreation ground and the wider Sussex communities including schools will be key to this project.

“As the recreation ground is geared towards sport and leisure there are good reasons for local residents and park users to view this project as an enhancement of the site and hopefully embrace it as a city destination.

“Just by reworking the layout of the area with an ice rink there is comfortably still room for a full size 100m football pitch, a school standard 90m pitch, and two five a side pitches.

“This city has long demanded a serious ice skating venue since the closure of the old SS Stadium in 1965, which was home to the once famous Brighton Tigers.

“There have also been ongoing campaigns and proposals to return an ice rink to the city.

“Currently the nearest facilities are in Guildford and Streatham and it is our belief that the case for Brighton and Hove to have its own full sized ice rink is compelling.”

Mr James, who was a keen ice hockey player in the 1980s and used to play at the Queen’s Square rink, said it was a “real tragedy” the city had not had a rink for decades.