Pledge on new ice rink

Friday, 31st October 2008

By Paul R Taylor - Manchester Evening News

A £150m ice rink and shopping centre planned for Altrincham will go ahead, despite one of the developers going bust.

House builder David McLean Developments called in the administrators earlier this week with debts of £100m, blaming the property market downturn.

The North Wales firm was due to build the Altair development with partner, Manchester-based Nikal Ltd.

The scheme is for a 3,000-seat ice arena for the Manchester Phoenix ice hockey club as well as shops, offices, flats, restaurants, a 135-bedroom hotel and other leisure facilities.

Nick Payne, managing director of Nikal, said: "Nikal has been the lead developer and will progress the scheme as normal."

Nikal will now either find a new partner or complete the development, which will create 500 jobs, on its own.

Construction work is due to begin next year and should be completed by 2013.

Directors of David McLean were unavailable for comment. The firm had an annual turnover of £160m and employs 320 staff.

Nick Edwards, of administrators Deloitte, said its house building division should make `an attractive prospect for potential purchasers' due to its land, property assets and reputation.

Residents on Oakfield Road, next to the Altair site, had hoped the development would now be killed off.

Spokeswoman Sarah Walmsley said: "Obviously this is a tragedy for the employees, but we thought it might be good news for us.

"Our lives have already been blighted by this development, but unfortunately it seems its going ahead anyway."


Nikal logo

Nikal will continue with the Altair project.

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