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17 October 2014, 06:00
What managers claim to be the best sporting facility in the East of England is officially opening later in Milton Keynes.
Planet Ice, based at the Leisure Plaza, is replacing MK's old ice rink and has cost £6 million to build.
The site, which will be home to the MK Lightening Ice Hockey Team, has been transformed with only one original wall remaining.
Developers moved in more than a year ago to start work on replacing the former building.
Planet Ice's Managing Director John Neville told Heart: "I think it's the best sporting facility in the East of England if I'm being honest. We've changed literally everything in the whole venue. It's very clean, very fresh and ready for use."
The venue includes a transformation and upgrade of the ice rink, as well as the addition of a new bar area, cafe, birthday party area and private changing rooms for sports teams.
Mr Neville added: "We've tried to keep as many people out as possible but we did bring the Lightning players in. There were a couple of them who have played here since they were four years old, and it was quite emotional watching their faces and seeing them thinking 'wow'."
Also training at the base are other teams associated with the Milton Keynes Ice Hockey Academy, including recreational teams, MK juniors, MK Thunder (NIHL) and ladies' team the MK Falcons.
MK Lightning's first game back at the new rink will take place tomorrow (18 October) with the visit of Sheffield Steeldogs.