SLOUGH Jets fear that the decision to close Slough Ice Arena will have the potential to destroy the club in the long-term.

This week, the Observer broke the news that Slough Borough Council plans to close the arena in Montem Lane this autumn for a nine-month regeneration project.

The Council has apologised for the inconvenience it may cause to residents and community groups, which includes The Jets and SPICE (Special People On Ice).

The Council will not provide a temporary rink during the project stating it cannot justifiably offer a solution.

Their decision has left The Jets, founded in 1986 after the construction of the Slough Ice Arena, both devastated and fearing for its own future.

The club, members of the English National League and whose playing staff and fan base total around 1,000 people, pride themselves in their ability to offer young people in Slough an unique route into sport.

Steve English, director of operations at Slough Jets, was left distraught by the Council’s decision.

He told the Observer: “We are a unique club in the community and the impact of this decision will have a massive effect.

“We are still not sure what the future holds because the Council has not come forward with information. The issue we have is that the amount of information coming out has not been enough, and we feel devastated to have found out externally.

“The problem is no-one really knows what’s going on, but it could destroy the club in the long term as you need ice to play the sport.

“Ice hockey takes kids off the streets and gives them the chance of a different life, so we want to know what is going on. We want the truth and we want answers.

“It has caused massive disruption around the club, from parents, email traffic and scare-mongerers.

“One of the biggest concerns is kids will have nowhere to play and that could lead to the closure of the club.

“The Council’s impact would be massive and we would not be able to operate. We are very concerned at this time as the Council do not understand we can’t simply walk into another rink and book ice time.”

English continued: "We are looking into talks with the Council and there are a lot of things going on in the back, but it could be very difficult for us.

"Losing the whole site will effect the general public as well as the club. It will impact all the kids that play the sport and the community that use the site to skate.

"People use this ice rink to play the sport and stay out of trouble, and there are only so many rinks within the area that can facilitate these numbers of kids.

"We were not notified in the proper manner and would have liked to have been in the loop. I do not know what the future holds but we will be working very hard."