BASINGSTOKE'S ice rink has been put up for sale.

Planet Ice at the leisure park has been put on the market for £2.4 million by the building's owners Standard Securities.

It follows a long-running saga over who is responsible for repairs at the facility that threaten the future of the rink - with the council now threatening legal action should the repairs not be completed.

The chair of the ice rink users' forum, Sally Cashman, said she was "surprised, disappointed, worried and upset" by the news.

But Basingstoke council, who own the leisure park site, have poured cold water over the idea of purchasing the facility, saying "residents would [not] support us bailing out the companies involved with public money to make up for their lack of investment in an asset".

The ice rink, which is home to one of the town's best-supported sports teams in the Bison ice hockey team, needs urgent repairs after permafrost build up underneath the rink's pad.

Over recent months, there has been a back and forth between BDBC and Planet Ice, the rink's operators, on who is responsible for the repairs.

The council claims that it is the responsibility of Planet Ice and Standard Securities to fund the works, but Planet Ice has previously claimed the issues date back to before the council sold it to them.

And in a press release released on Tuesday evening, BDBC doubled down on their claims. They say "the ice rink is not a council facility" and that both "current landlord Standard Securities and operator Planet Ice have leases on the building that require them to keep it in ‘good and substantial’ repair, otherwise the council can take legal action to seek to have repairs carried out".

A survey to assess the condition of the rink will take place next month, to assess the full extent of the repair work needed.

"The council will then consider whether, under the terms of the leases on the building, it is necessary to take legal action to get the repairs carried out," the press release continued.

The council’s cabinet member for finance and major projects, Cllr John Izett, added: “It is disappointing that it has had to come to this, but we can see no other course of action.

"We had hoped that through negotiations with landlord Standard Securities and operator Planet Ice we could find a way forward for them to carry out the repairs they are responsible for. But they seem content to keep the rink going in its current poor condition.

“With the ice rink going up for sale, it is important that anyone taking on the lease should have a full picture of the condition of the building and their responsibility for repair should they acquire the premises.

“The council has already made its position clear that buying the ice rink is not considered an appropriate use of public funds, especially as the funding of the repairs is the responsibility of the leaseholders.

"The ice rink is run on a commercial basis by a specialist ice rink operator with multiple other sites across the country.

“We have been constantly asked to do something but I don’t believe that councillors or residents would support us bailing out the companies involved with public money to make up for their lack of investment in an asset.”