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I am delighted to be presenting the 2012/13 Annual Review for the National Ice Centre & Capital FM Arena Nottingham; a year which has been extremely challenging for the business as a whole. The continuing (and worsening) economic climate has placed great challenges on the Chief Executive, his management team and staff to ensure the venue retains its position as the National Centre of Excellence for Ice Sports and, for the Arena to retain its status as the premier entertainment complex in the East Midlands. Despite these turbulent times, this Review demonstrates that through innovative and committed management, the sports development programme - supported by Capital One - continues to go from strength to strength. Similarly, the Capital FM Arena Nottingham has yet again, hosted a galaxy of stars from around the world to provide great enjoyment to thousands of people. Please take the time to read this Review in detail so that you can understand fully the role the venue plays in the lives of so many people in Nottingham, across the region and beyond. Finally, as a long-time supporter of the Nottingham Panthers, may I congratulate the team, the coaches, the support staff and of course, owner Neil Black, on the truly amazing achievement of winning all three competitions in 2012/13! R Michiel Stevenson OBE DL Hon LLD Hon MA – Freeman of the City of Nottingham

THE BOARD OF THE NATIONAL ICE CENTRE R Michiel Stevenson, Chairman Councillor Malcolm Wood, Vice Chairman Councillor Brian Grocock Councillor Leon Unczur Councillor Alex Norris Melvin Egglenton David Hallam Peter Ellis Jo Bradley

Ex-officio Members: Hugh White, Nottingham City Council James Buller, Sport England

R MICHIEL STEVENSON OBE DL HON LLD HON MA, CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL ICE CENTRE Mich was born and educated in Nottingham and has been involved in the development and progress of the National Ice Centre since 1997, when the decision was taken to replace the old Ice Stadium with a ground-breaking twin ice pad facility, incorporating a 10,000 seat arena. He has held numerous high profile positions within the City, including leading the formation of the Lace Market Heritage Trust, Chairman of the Galleries of Justice, Nottingham Waterside, and Nottingham Regeneration Limited. Awarded the OBE in 1998, he is currently Deputy Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire and has been awarded Honorary Degrees from the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University. In May 2005, Mich was admitted as an Honorary Freeman of the City of Nottingham, and in 2007 he was appointed to the National Board of Sport England.




“A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.” – Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin plc.

•The Short Track Speed Skating GB team had its best season ever on the world stage, winning eight medals in the ISU World Cup Series, bronze at the World Championships, and four medals at the European Championships

As you will see from this Annual Review, the past 12 months have been a roller coaster of activity – mostly very positive, but some negative and certainly challenging! In the context of the Richard Branson quotation above, the Board, management team and the staff, have been totally involved in the business, and it is testament to the creative instincts shown that, despite the prevailing economic climate, the National Ice Centre and Capital FM Arena Nottingham has continued to develop on all fronts, not least in terms of sports development and the Arena show/event programme. Whilst in financial terms the final outturn of circa £200,000 operating deficit is disappointing, this can be explained by the loss of three shows (plus rehearsal times) in the last month of the financial year; higher energy costs because of the cold (and long) winter; and the continuing decline in public skating attendances, which is attributed to the continuing depressed economy. The operating deficit was further mitigated by the investments made in the ticketing operation, the retail outlet (Ice Locker Store) and by bringing the merchandise operation in-house. These areas of the business have been developed by the respective managers utilising not only their skills and expertise, but also their creative instincts. The foundation established in these key areas over the past twelve months will see further growth and expansion in the coming years. The final element of Richard Branson’s ethos –“it has to be fun” – epitomises what the majority of the management team and staff feel about working at the most prestigious venue in the City and region. We share the collective belief that when our customers have a great time, that is our reward. The contributions to this Review by the various departments demonstrate the effort, hard work and commitment that go into operating a business that is open 20 hours a day for 363 days a year!

•Elise Christie is now ranked World Number 1 at 1000m –winning bronze at the World Championships and being crowned European Champion at 1500m •Team GB is in a strong position to achieve excellent results at the upcoming Winter Olympics to be held in 2014 at Sochi in Russia •The NIC Figure Skating & Ice Dance Academy achieved five medals at the British Championships with excellent performances by David Richardson, Charlie Parry-Evans and Joshua Brown •Penny Coomes & Nick Buckland achieved 5th place at the European Figure Skating Championships •The GMB Nottingham Panthers achieved the ‘Grand Slam’ of trophies by winning the Elite League, Elite League Play-Off Finals and the Challenge Cup - an outstanding achievement! SPORTS DEVELOPMENT IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CAPITAL ONE •The flagship Capital One ‘Learn to Skate’ Programme maintained its position as one of the top providers in the UK with almost 6,000 skaters taking part •The Capital One Inspiring Community Engagement (ICE) Programme continues to provide positive skating experiences to thousands of school children and families in Nottingham as set out in detail later in this Review




•There were mixed results in terms of shows and events hosted by Capital FM Arena Nottingham during 2012/13 when sports events and ice hockey had strong results against the projected targets but revenue from concerts and family shows fell significantly short

This section of the Annual Review focuses on ice sports and Arena shows and events, however, without the input of other key departments including sales & marketing, facilities, IT, HR, buildings, customer services, finance and administration, etc., it would be impossible to deliver the range of opportunities offered to our customers in terms of the ice skating programme and the wonderful shows we bring to the venue for the delight of the attending audiences.

•These results reflected national trends, the Annual Report produced by the National Arenas Association (NAA) recorded performances down by 6% and attendances across all genres down by 9% •Increased average attendances and more GMB Nottingham Panthers home games were played at the National Ice Centre this year, this was followed by the success of the Panthers achieving the ‘Grand Slam’ of trophies •Other sports events included Carl Froch at World Championship level and, for the first time, the Arena hosted the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to a sell-out crowd

To acquire a full understanding of what is required to manage and operate the most prestigious venue in the City and across the region, it is essential the Annual Review is read in its entirety. The venue is also fortunate to enjoy excellent partnerships with other companies including Capital FM, Capital One, Greene King, Cadbury, Leith’s Catering (now named Levy Restaurants) and Showsec International (crowd management and stewarding). These relationships bring enormous ‘added value’ to what we offer our customers. All the foregoing attributes and partnerships were encapsulated in a single event last June when the National Ice Centre played host to the Olympic Torch Relay as it went around the UK as part of the build-up to the London 2012 Games. 6,000 people were in the venue when the torch was handed over to Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean. They then took to the ice and skated to a specially choreographed routine, including lifts and jumps as the flame shone brightly throughout! As part of the celebrations, more than 200 skaters, drawn from all sections of the National Ice Centre performed in a unique ice gala - a day to remember for everyone involved! The venue is a great example of how the public/private partnership should work, in that the Board has Local Authority representation who work alongside successful people drawn from the private sector, led by Chairman Mich Stevenson, and who provide guidance and support to the management team to deliver the strategic objectives and targets set out in the Business Plan. Geoff Huckstep Chief Executive


Public Skating is the programme that unlocks the gateway to ice sport. Skating is a fun and thrilling sport for all ages and a great way to exercise with family and friends. In order to make Public Skating more accessible, the admission fees have not increased since 2009, which makes ice skating an attractive option when planning group or family activities. The UK economy went back into recession in the first quarter of 2012 and Public Skating was adversely affected by consumer spending with a 10% decline in attendances compared to the previous year, despite allocating 4% more ice time to public skating sessions. An innovative approach to marketing a quality service has resulted in some areas of success including: Themed sessions – these have created fun and memorable occasions for all. The extra energy and excitement created resulted in lots of pictures, stories and positive PR through social media sites and local newspapers. The Foam Parties continue to be the most popular, attracting average attendances of over 500. The most favoured theme parties during the year were the Easter Foam Fest, Trick or Treat Halloween Party and Valentine’s Party. New to the programme was the offer of exclusive sessions for parents, toddlers and their siblings with the additional attraction of characters in costume including; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with props, a Disney Characters party, Christmas party and an Easter Egg Hunt party, all proving popular during the school holidays. The NIC was host to 173 children’s birthday parties on ice during the year, up by 7% on 2011/12, with February being the most popular month for bookings. Saturday has yet again proved to be the most popular day for skating with the afternoon family session achieving the highest attendance. The provision of skating aids in the form of penguins, seals and ice scooters has attracted young families whose children have gained confidence on the ice, allowing the whole family to have a fun, safe and enjoyable experience. The introduction of a nominal hire fee has allowed the NIC to reinvest in these skating products. Christmas at the NIC took place from 10 December 2012 to 6 January 2013, and provided four weeks of Christmas magic by transforming the rink with over 700sqm of white draping, hundreds of Christmas lights, special lighting effects and a giant illuminated Christmas tree. The Christmas at the NIC programme included a Neon Bubble & Foam party, Capital FM Party Night, Skate with the Panthers session, Disabled Inclusion party and a Parent & Toddler party. December saw an 8% increase in public skating admissions compared to the previous year.



medals, including seven gold, six silver and seven bronze.

As the Centre of Excellence for Short Track Speed Skating in the UK, Nottingham is justifiably proud of the results gained by Team GB who have experienced their best ever season. The team won eight medals throughout the ISU World Cup Series, exceeding their six medal target, and added a further five medals at the European and World Championships.

Other accomplishments include 44 podium places at domestic competitions, and 30 podium places at international competitions.

Medals achieved within international and World Championships

138 skaters enrolled on the ‘Learn to Speed Skate’ programme, which includes those awarded a Capital One Scholarship. This is an increase of 39% compared to the previous year, with over 30% of participants progressing to the NIRC.

Total Medals Top 8 placings Top 16 placings

World Cup Series

European Championships

World Championships

8 22 52

4 9

1 6

Highlights include: •Elise Christie ranked World Number 1 at 1000m, winning eight World Cup medals •Elise Christie won bronze at the World Championships in the 1000m final •Elise Christie crowned European Champion at 1500m •Charlotte Gilmartin won bronze at 1500m at the European Championships •Jon Eley ranked 12th and Paul Stanley 16th in the world at 500m •Men’s 500m Relay Team ranked 6th in the World Cup Series •Katherine Thomson won silver in the 500m at the European Youth Winter Olympic Festival •John Eley, 2 times Olympian and European Gold medallist carried the Olympic Torch along with fellow speed skaters Jack Burrows and Saskia Roberts NOTTINGHAMSHIRE ICE RACING CLUB (NIRC) The Club has 36 active racing members including four athletes who are members of the GB Short Track Team and five National Development Squad members. NIRC had its best ever performance at the British Championships winning a total of 20

The NIRC hosted the 24th Junior British Short Track Open competition in December with over a hundred skaters attending from the UK, Europe, Canada and Hong Kong.

FIGURE SKATING The NIC Figure Skating Academy has a membership of 116 including singles, ice dance and the Eden Tyre Sales (ETS) Junior Academy. This Academy acts as a feeder to the NIC Academy where children aged 4 – 7 years learn the fundamentals of the sport. An international training camp was held during the summer attracting a number of coaches and their skaters from Poland, Hungary, Sweden and Slovenia. BRITISH ICE FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS Skaters representing Nottingham achieved a total of five medals at the Championships; David Richardson won bronze in the Senior Men’s category, with Charlie Parry-Evans and Joshua Brown claiming bronze in the Junior and Novice Men’s section. Penny Coomes & Nick Buckland and Olivia Smart & Joe Buckland won gold in the Senior and Junior Dance competitions respectively.


Tom and Samantha Saxton-Howes won gold and silver respectively at the British Adult Championships.


Penny Coomes & Nick Buckland also achieved 5th place at the European Figure Skating Championships.

Junior World Championship

15th place

Highest place achieved by a GBR team to date

British Solo Ice Dance Championships Seven skaters represented Nottingham at the British Solo Dance Championships winning a total of three medals. At the Scottish Championships, NIC skaters won 10 individual medals and gold in the Team Challenge.

Lee Valley


Intermediate team, Novice and Junior teams



Juvenile team; silver Novice and Junior teams

Lauren Bell Chloe Dixon Joshua Tarry

two gold, one silver, three bronze three bronze one bronze

Welsh National Championships The Junior Men’s category was won by Charlie Parry-Evans with Joshua Brown securing bronze. PODIUM PLACES GAINED Domestic IJS Competitions Competitions 82 32

International Competitions 9

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION HIGHLIGHTS: David Richardson Daniel Aggiano Charlie Parry-Evans Charlie Parry-Evans Emily Stuart Emily Stuart

silver bronze silver bronze silver gold

Senior Men Senior Men Junior Men Junior Men Novice Ladies Novice Ladies

Italy Italy Hungary Slovenia Italy Slovenia

The NIC Figure Skating Academy presented the Christmas Show ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Ice’, featuring a cast of 140 skaters ranging from beginners to international level, at a variety of ages. Over 4,500 people watched the show, almost a third of spectators were local school children and their families. SYNCHRONIZED SKATING The Nottingham Synchronized Skating Academy (NSSA) membership consists of 92 skaters, 35 of which are at Foundation level. The NSSA moved to a new structure and an emphasis on being a more competitive club have both had a positive impact on results.

British Championship


Novice and Junior teams



Juvenile team French Cup

Dumfries Trophy D'Ecosse


Juvenile and Intermediate teams

Salzburg Mozart Cup


Junior team

ICE HOCKEY The GMB Nottingham Panthers won the Grand Slam keeping the profile of ice hockey in Nottingham at the forefront. The Nottingham Ice Hockey Club has one of the most successful programmes in the UK producing male and female players at a regional, national and international level. Following the successful development of the U10 programme, the club added an additional team “Cool Cats” U12 and operates with a total of 12 teams playing within the English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA) League structure, with 32 registered coaches, 12 team managers, and a strong membership of 230, which includes 50 players at U10 level. 15 players were selected to represent one of the Midlands Region teams with the U11 team winning the Junior Inter-Conference Tournament Championships 2013. 13 players were selected into teams representing England and five players represented Great Britain. The U16 A Team and the Nottingham Lions were crowned League Champions in Division 2. The NIC has provided a steady stream of new players into the junior development programme through the accredited EIHA ‘Learn to Play’ hockey programme. A total of 337 young players (same year on year) progressed through the programme with over 30% joining the club.

...CONTINUED SPORTS DEVELOPMEMT A number of Junior and Adult Ice Hockey clinics have taken place during the year, along with the internationally renowned Okanagan Hockey summer camp which attracted players from all over the UK ranging from U10 to U18.

The Urban Hockey Programme was delivered in schools across the City and County as part of the curriculum support and after school provision within the Capital One ICE Programme. A further three schools invested in the urban hockey programme, providing 135 children with the opportunity to play the game.

UNIVERSITY ICE HOCKEY The Nottingham Mavericks Ice Hockey Club is one of the most successful university sides in Great Britain. The club consists of three teams which compete throughout the year and has a membership of over 100 students (including alumni) and staff from the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University. The Varsity Ice Hockey match is one of the highlights of the year, where the University of Nottingham take on Nottingham Trent in front of a capacity crowd. There is a massive rivalry between the two university teams and the atmosphere is always electric. RECREATIONAL ICE HOCKEY The NIC is home to three clubs; Nottingham Knights, Nottingham Phantoms and North Stars. Each club has a membership in excess of 40 and prides itself on providing a friendly atmosphere for adults from all walks of life, including ex-league players who can no longer commit to the time demands of league hockey, and players who have played on and off throughout the years who just want to train and play games for fun and fitness. SPORTS DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES The flagship Capital One ‘Learn to Skate’ Programme is a pathway into the various clubs and development programmes on offer. The programme maintained its position as one of the top providers in the UK with almost 6,000 skaters participating in one or more of the six week Learn to Skate courses. Despite an increase in the number of children learning to skate, the popularity of ITV’s Dancing on Ice didn’t have the same effect upon adult skaters with an overall decline of 3% compared to the previous year. CAPITAL ONE INSPIRING COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT (ICE) PROGRAMME Another positive, effective and impactful year was spent working in partnership with Capital One to bring positive skating experiences to thousands of school children in Nottingham. An amazing 137 volunteers from Capital One Associates and students from Central College supported the programme over the course of the year. An additional 42 school groups invested in the ice skating opportunities available at the NIC with a further 1082 school children learning to skate. Talent identification resulted in 55 Scholarship Awards being presented rewarding each child with three Skate UK courses running over 18 weeks in the discipline of Ice Hockey, Short Track or Figure Skating. 12 schools (149 children) took part in the Capital One School’s Toddler Programme. The ever popular Parent & Toddler session showed an increase of 16% compared to the same period last year. 142 family members attended the Capital One Family Weekend Programme, which takes place on Saturdays over a four week period.





Schools Skating Programme




Why Nott? Skating Programme








School Toddler Ice SkatingProgramme




Summer School Programme




Family Weekend Skating Programme




Urban Hockey




Disabled Inclusion Sessions




Parent & Toddler Sessions




Learn to Skate Course









(Number of individual visits)


The NIC hosted the first ever Nottingham School Games Ice Sports Festival as part of the Nottingham School Games with six schools from across the County taking part in team races and individual skills tests– the overall winner was Blue Bell Hill Primary school. Age for Action is a new partnership with the Nottingham Elders Forum which is aimed to help older people with fitness and motivation. The programme was the first of its kind in the UK and was launched by Rosemary Conley and BBC Radio Nottingham’s Colin Slater, MBE. THE LEARNING ZONE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH BLUE BELL HILL TRUST The partnership has had a fantastic second year delivering programmes which have inspired many from the local community. •Funding from Nottingham City Council Family Learning and Nottinghamshire County Council Big Lottery Funding enabled over 180 families to take part in the Family Skate Plus programme, inspired by London 2012 •Capital One funding provided opportunities for 12 schools to attend the Skate and Motivate Programme enabling almost 400 children to develop their computing and skating skills •Capital One week long summer camp for 30 children from three schools •YMCA Activity Day offered 50 children the opportunity to improve their computing skills, develop their skating skills and have fun with arts, crafts and Urban Hockey •Bulwell Academy ran a two week programme for 60 children •Nottingham Academy ran an activity day for 130 children


There were mixed results in terms of shows and events hosted at the Capital FM Arena Nottingham during 2012/13 when sports events and ice hockey had very strong results against the projected targets, but revenue from concerts and family shows fell significantly short. The results at Capital FM Arena Nottingham reflected the position across the UK whereby statistics collated by the National Arenas Association (NAA) recorded that event performances were down by 6% year on year, and attendances down by 9% across the same period. All areas of show genre, music, family, dance, comedy and sport were down or at the same level as the previous year, but the average ticket price went up to £37.22 - a rise of almost £5! The success of the Nottingham Panthers achieving the ‘Grand Slam’ of trophies – League Champions, Play-Off Champions and winners of the Challenge Cup, was reflected by additional home games and increased average attendances. In terms of sports events, the two Carl Froch fights, which were televised live in the UK and the United States, gave the Arena enormous global coverage as well as generating great sales in the hospitality, bars and concourse catering areas. In addition, for the first time, we hosted UFC to a sell-out audience. Conversely, the number of concerts (and associated secondary spend income) suffered from the late postponement of two Jessie J shows (and rehearsal time), and the Usher show which was cancelled. Family shows proved to be a particularly hard sell during the year reflecting the financial squeeze on parents, epitomised by Disney on Ice which was almost 40% down on the previous show some 18 months ago. However, the quality of concerts and shows was extremely high over the year with a resurgence of British acts such as Mumford & Sons, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Ed Sheeran and, of course, the ‘boy band’ sensation – One Direction - who played a show in March to their adoring fans. In addition to home grown talent, the Arena hosted international artists such as Justin Bieber, The Killers, Drake, Guns N’ Roses, Lionel Richie, Donny & Marie Osmond and favourites such as Westlife, Madness, Cheryl Cole, Keane, The Script and Elbow. Comedy was again to the fore with sell-out shows by Michael McIntyre, John Bishop and Mrs Brown’s Boys. Perhaps the most surprising show of the year in terms of audience numbers and reaction was Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical – Jesus Christ Superstar - featuring Tim Minchin and Mel C, a superb show with an outstanding production and support cast.

Particular reference needs to be made regarding the excellent work by the Arena’s event management team on the Justin Bieber and One Direction shows. The issues surrounding Justin Bieber’s UK tour have been well documented in terms of the show(s) over running, however, the events team took all this in their stride to the complete satisfaction of the promoter and artist management. This included managing a ‘standing floor’ for Justin Bieber’s show, one of only two arenas in the UK to do so. One Direction created a similar level of excitement and the lessons learned from the Justin Bieber concert meant the show went off without a hitch. In addition to the increased revenue generation associated with booking fees, the Audience View ticketing system has significantly improved the communication with customers through enhanced Customer Relationship Management (CRM) opportunities. As identified in the business case required to persuade the Board to approve the capital investment, the venue is now acting as a ‘ticketing agent’ for third party events not associated with the Arena, such as Download, Leeds Festival and the British leg of the World Powerboat GP Championships to name but three. Merchandising commission has now become a fundamental aspect of revenue generation, and under the direction of the Retail & Merchandising Manager is now a professional operation which is providing great levels of customer services and maximising sales. Importantly, when shows have returned to Nottingham such as WWE, Westlife, etc., the sales generated from our own merchandising operation have exceeded those when we were working with a partner. As intimated earlier, there was a good performance for sports events at the Arena - the highlight of which was the Nottingham Panthers winning the Play-Off Championships and the Autumn Cup. The Varsity match between victors Nottingham Trent University and University of Nottingham produced another sell-out crowd. Away from ice hockey, the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and TNA Wrestling both came to the Arena for the first time and held very successful events. Other sports events included WWE (twice), Harlem Globetrotters and two boxing events. The forecast for the next 12 months is very positive with a number of high quality shows on sale such as Jessie J, Cirque du Soleil, Sigur Rós, Stereophonics, Andre Rièu, Mrs Brown’s Boys, Miranda Hart and Jack Whitehall to name a few.


In the past year, the IT team has undergone a number of changes to structure. This year sees the departure of the IT Director which will leave the IT Manager supported by three first line support staff and one third line due to be recruited by end of July, together with a web developer. The web developer is the only member of the team to have commenced employment prior to 2012, which has meant that the year has been challenging with the entire team learning various systems and applications in the business, but this has also provided a great opportunity to change and improve the way the department serves the business.



Significant improvements have been made to the infrastructure this year, including virtualizing the majority of our server fleet allowing us to consolidate hardware, improve back-up capability, increase security, functionality and reliability and reduce costs. We’ve also upgraded our servers to a combination of Windows Server 2008 and 2012 and implemented system centre tools to help manage desktops, servers and other hardware. New versions of anti-virus software have been installed on all the PCs and servers in the business and extra perimeter security measures have been introduced

To help manage the high volume of support requests the team deal with, and to ensure problems and requests are recorded and managed, a fully featured helpdesk system has been implemented. With this, users can log issues as a ‘ticket’ and are able to view its progress. The team is targeted and measured using KPIs drawn from the helpdesk tickets. The team has introduced monitoring of almost every device and system in the business, and is alerted if any issues arise. A dedicated out of hours support number has also been implemented. TICKETING The entire ticketing process including telephone and in-person sales, event creation and management, and online presence have all been bought in-house over the past year. The website was rebuilt from scratch around the new ticketing system and now receives around 2.3 million visits per annum. The mobile web site was also built this year and it receives around 40% of the total online visits, where customers can purchase tickets for events, find out about future events, contact us and find our location. TELEPHONE SYSTEMS As part of bringing ticketing in-house, the team was also required to create and support a telephone contact centre. This was carried out as part of an entire upgrade of the telephone system to a fully Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) platform, meaning that all telephone calls are now carried over the computer network, and route to the outside world via internet connection, both reducing costs and increasing scalability and functionality for users.

Public wifi is now available in many areas of the venue, and is charged at £1 per day. Customers can purchase wifi online using a credit or debit card, or buy a voucher in person. This is proving very popular with customers and future plans include working on a much larger wifi project for the Arena. INFRASTRUCTURE




Annual training for all staff included the roll out of the venue’s new bomb search procedure. This was then followed by a number of live exercises in the venue during a normal day and one during an event.

The NIC and Capital FM Arena Nottingham has shown the following significant results in its Environmental Performance Indicators:


Environmental Performance Indicator




Electricity used Building



+208527KWh +4.9%

Electricity Ice Plant only



+52155KWh +3.4%

Heating Used



+989.71MWh +41%

Water Used



+442m3 +1.8%

General Waste Incinerated

102.05 Tonnes

105.14 Tonnes

+3.09 Tonnes +3%

Recycled Waste


8.53 Tonnes


Number of Event Nights (inc. Panthers Ice Hockey)




Our Accessibility Officer has continued to develop relationships with leading accessibility organisations and build on the current Silver Standard Award with Attitude Is Everything. This commitment has seen all employees trained in a basic understanding of disabled access and how to assist with customer service related access issues. This year has also seen the venue roll out its first Accessibility Policy and develop an on-going action plan to install, upgrade and maintain accessible facilities around the venue. Currently, we are one of only two arenas in the country to have a Changing Places toilet facility. In addition, a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) option has been introduced to all customers attending an event, conference or skating session. The PEEP, the purchase of six evacuation chairs and a ‘Train the Trainer’ course, has significantly improved the overall care a customer who needs special access facilities might expect when visiting the NIC and Capital FM Arena Nottingham. Acting on feedback from our focus groups, any accessibility queries are now answered within three working days and directly by the Accessibility Officer via an online feedback tool, which also provides customers with the opportunity to make suggestions for further improvements. RISK MANAGEMENT This year has again seen significant investment in staff training and development, with over 460 delegate days of training delivered, in topics ranging from mock court room training, bomb search, lost child and disability awareness. There has been a decrease in the customer public skating accident rate, which continues to follow a year on year downward trend. Staff accidents again saw a 25% decrease from 2011/12. The venue undertook 23 major capital projects during the year, including building and refurbishment projects to create an in-house call centre, improve office facilities for visiting production and the replacement of major flooring areas both front and back of house. All were completed safely and without disruption to services to customers. A risk register compiling the top ten business risks has been created during the year to add to the extensive health and safety management systems already in place.

Increased consumption was seen across all Environmental Performance Indicators. However, the venue has performed well in limiting these increases considering: -A 15% increase in event nights will have led to over 30,000 more customers using the services of the venue, such as catering outlets and toilet facilities -An increase of 17 extra event nights significantly increases energy demand, in such areas as lighting, sound and use of video screens -A prolonged and colder winter. Met Office data suggests average temperatures were 41% cooler between November 2012 and April 2013; a figure which matches the increased heating consumption for the business -Recycling has reduced the amount of general waste disposed of via incineration.


October saw the implementation of the NIC’s inaugural Environmental Policy. This document, supported by the Senior Management Team, outlines key environmental impacts and how we will work to manage them responsibly. The Environmental Policy is available for review on both business websites and will be reviewed annually to reflect up to date practices. In order to monitor resource consumption more closely, the NIC has invested in an extensive sub-metering network across electricity, heating and water points. The resultant data will be analysed to determine the focus of an energy and water reduction strategy. On-site recycling has been increased significantly this year with the inclusion of plastic cups and bottles. Working closely with our catering contractor, over eight tonnes of recyclable materials has been separated on-site by staff and diverted for recycling. Non-recyclable materials are now incinerated locally, with the resultant steam used to provide the building with electricity and heating. From leaving the site as waste to returning as electricity and hot water, there is less than a three mile journey. Stakeholder feedback is welcomed and encouraged to help the NIC assess its environmental impacts. Please address queries, comments or suggestions to BUILDINGS 2012 saw some fundamental changes and some technical challenges for the buildings team. The team delivered high quality work in supporting 130 show nights; 33 of which were ice hockey matches. Some of the shows, such as Ice Age Live were technically challenging. The service yard and backstage gates have been completely refurbished ensuring that they are easier to use and giving additional security. Starting in May with the delivery of a new call centre, this year was our most ambitious to date. We delivered 23 separate projects over the period from April to January. This included a self-contained National Hockey League (NHL) standard changing facility for the GMB Nottingham Panthers, new office and physiotherapy rooms for the Short Track Speed Skating team, a technically challenging shop extension finished in time for the busy Christmas period, and the creation of a back stage area including four new dressing rooms and an additional first aid room. EVENTS This year the team again dealt with events with very varying audience profiles including Justin Bieber, One Direction, UFC and World Championship Boxing. Justin Bieber was challenging because the audience profile of

young girls and we were one of only two venues in the United Kingdom to hold this event with a standing floor. This required additional procedures to be written and implemented, mainly focusing on the welfare of customers. We held two boxing events during the year, one of which featured the weigh-in being held on Bolero Square for the first time. Due to the amount of fans following both fighters, we worked very closely with the police to ensure the event ran smoothly. The events team also worked on introducing new measures for conferencing to ensure customers have the best possible experience and receive excellent service. CATERING – LEITH’S Our catering partner has successfully operated and delivered a huge number of diverse events over the past year and a package was specifically tailored towards each event. 2012/13 has returned the best year of catering sales to date, sales were up approximately 5% on previous years whilst also showing record spends at the Premier League Darts and two World Championship Boxing clashes. Last year was the start of the Compass Sports & Leisure rollout of Levy Restaurants, a brand that operates now in over 70 arena and sporting venues across the UK. During 2013 the Capital FM Arena Nottingham will join this exciting journey and see Leith’s change to Levy Restaurants with a bigger focus on guest experience and food than ever before. The continuous in-house training and development of the catering team at all levels remains a big focus. The intensity of this training will be a key focus during the 2013 season in line with our Levy Restaurants roll out. This year has also seen the rollout of a number of initiatives to support the environmental side of the catering business Compass Group has consolidated the supply chain to see 5% less deliveries to units with plans to expand this further in the future. Leith’s has also changed plastic glass to PET which means PET bottles can now be recycled instead of going to landfill. FACILITIES The facilities team now has responsibility for Housekeeping, the Control Room and Ice Maintenance. Security has been high on the agenda this year. A new access system has been installed, increasing the secure doors from 20 to 69; the functionality and reliability of the public announcement system has been greatly improved, and an additional 14 cameras have been installed in customer areas. The software controlling the ice plant has been replaced with the objective of further reducing energy costs and further improving the quality of the ice.


The past 12 months has seen a number of structural changes within the marketing team, with roles changing to meet the increasing demands of the business. A new Marketing Manager, Communications Manager, Marketing Assistant and Graphic Designer all joined the team and have settled in well to the fast paced, pressurised environment. Digital marketing and social media continues to be a key area of focus. Since April 2012 Facebook and Twitter followers for the Arena alone have continued to grow by 62% and 53% respectively with over 46,500 followers combined – enabling the Arena to maintain its position as the second highest followed Arena on Twitter after the O2. The NIC also experienced a 69% growth in Twitter followers and 14% increase in Facebook fans. New Twitter and Facebook accounts dedicated to the recently expanded Ice Locker store have also been set up, attracting over 1,400 combined followers in the first few months. A major project for the team in 2012 was the development and rollout of the new AudienceView ticketing system; including the design and launch of a brand new Capital FM Arena Nottingham website and implementation of an extensive media, customer and partner communications plan. The new system offers improved marketing functionality, and in January the business rolled out its sophisticated correspondence tool, which allows email campaigns to be distributed and tracked via the system, including the ability to monitor revenue generated by each campaign. AudienceView holds a significant amount of customer and transactional data, so conducting meaningful analysis into customer demographics and behaviour, sales trends and measuring the revenue generated via digital marketing activity, is going to be a key priority for the team over the coming months. Other key projects the team supported this year included; NIC Christmas Rink activity which attracted more than 19,500 skaters over a four week period. The Olympic Flame Ice Skating Gala for which £211,000 worth of positive PR was generated, and in November the team supported the Ice Locker expansion project. This included managing the design and implementation of the store interior branding and all other associated launch material, on-going marketing support has since been provided for Ice Locker, to help raise awareness of the new store and drive sales both in-store and online. Overall the marketing team had another productive and successful year. In addition to supporting the key revenue generating teams across the business, the marketing team also contributed financially with a 15% increase year on year in event marketing profit. This is a new record profit level for the team and a significant achievement in the current economic climate.


SALES The sales & hospitality team has undergone a number of changes over the past 12 months. Several team members left the business, allowing for significant cost savings to be made with the removal of two full time posts. Despite these changes, the team has enjoyed its most successful year to date. HOSPITALITY This year hospitality generated its highest ever revenue and profit figures, exceeding last year’s record profit by 14%. This success is due to the significant rise in single event hospitality sales which have increased by over 38% year on year. Annual hospitality sales saw a slight decline of 10%, however, the majority of clients who cancelled their facilities did so for financial reasons and hope to return when their business improves. Despite losing a small number of clients, several new hospitality clients have been welcomed to the Arena in recent months. All new Annual Executive Suite clients are offered the chance to personalise their suite and Greenzone Facilities Management has recently taken up the opportunity. Their heavily branded suite has exceptional standout from around the Arena, and has attracted interest from other clients keen to do something similar. ADVERTISING Following record advertising sales in 2011/12, sales have continued to remain strong with high renewal rates achieved, and a number of new clients taking up the opportunity to promote their messages to the venue’s one million annual visitors – with online opportunities proving to be the most popular. The partnership with Thomson Holidays has been renewed and enhanced for an additional 12 months. In December a significant new advertising partnership was agreed with Eden Tyre Sales – part of which saw them become the new sponsor of the NIC Junior Skating Academy. CONFERENCE & EVENTS The small conference & events part of the business has delivered another disappointing set of results, with another decline in rentals. The industry as a whole is continuing to struggle as businesses choose to hold their events onsite or cancel them altogether. This year pricing has become extremely competitive, with local hotels offering rates for small meetings which are difficult to match.

In light of this, the team changed its focus and is working hard to attract larger conference business to the Arena. Being the largest venue in the City offers a unique selling point which cannot be matched by rival venues. This year the Arena hosted the Yahovayere Bible Convention in August and November. This was a new event and over the next 12 months the focus will be on identifying and attracting similar new business, as delivering two or three large Arena conferences is more profitable and effective from both a cost and resource perspective. PARTNERSHIPS Good working relationships have been maintained throughout the year with all our major partners including Capital One and Capital FM. The new partnership with Coca Cola, which commenced in April 2012, has continued to flourish.


EMPLOYEE DEMOGRAPHICS Employee numbers increased from 235 to 258 compared to last year; an increase of 9.8%. This is largely due to the in-sourcing of Merchandising. The number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) posts also increased from 91.58 to 109.75. This is largely attributable to a review of the customer services team structure which resulted in the creation of a number of full-time and part-time posts, and the subsequent reduction in the use of casual staff.



Customer Services

















Finance / HR / IT


















Public Skating






Sales & Marketing












Sports Development












EMPLOYEE TURNOVER Employee turnover rates remained static at 31.2%, remaining lower than the leisure industry average of 34%. A more realistic measurement than the overall turnover rate is the stability index, which measures the extent to which the experienced workforce is being retained. Our stability index is currently 80.4%, representing an increase of 6.4% compared to last year. FLEXIBLE WORKING The nature of the events industry and the seasonality of ice hockey requires the business to have the flexibility to meet fluctuating resource demands.

In order to react to these demands, 49% of our workforce are employed on a zero hours or casual contract. The inclusion of part time workers in this figure means that 67% of employees are employed on a flexible basis. This flexibility ensures that the business is equipped to deliver excellent standards of service throughout the year, and affords employees the work-life balance they require to meet their needs.

AGE & LENGTH OF SERVICE Our employees range from age 18, with our eldest employee being aged 72. Two thriving local universities and a number of local colleges provide us with a significant proportion of our workforce in the form of part-time and casual staff. Just under 40% of our workforce is under the age of 25 and our median age is 27. Despite student employees offering a transient workforce, our average service length is 3.7 years, and we are proud to say that 33% of our employees have been employed for 5 years or more.


ABSENCE GENDER The Company gender ratio remains static with a slightly higher ratio of male employees. The gender split is currently 53% male to 47% female. This gender ratio is also reflected across our management and supervisory roles, with 55% of roles held by males and 45% of roles held by females. There is a slight reduction of 3% in the number of females employed in management and supervisory roles when compared to last year. GENDER PAY COMPARISON

The absence rate this year increased by 1.6% to 3.8%, which is 0.8% above the average UK industry absence rate (Absence Management Annual Survey Report 2012, CIPD). Despite this increase, our adjusted absence rate (the removal of long term absences) has remained static for the past 3 years at 1.8%. 93% of absences were short term in nature (less than one week), with 56% of absences being attributable to minor illnesses such as colds and sickness. The average cost of absence per employee was £305. This is £295 lower than the average cost in UK industry and £342 lower than the average cost in the public sector.

The average hourly pay for female employees is £9.53 compared to £9.79 for male employees. This represents a 2.7% gender pay gap favourable to male employees. DIVERSITY Approximately 14% of employees have an ethnic origin other than ‘White British’, which is reflective of the local community. 4.6% of employees consider themselves to have a disability. This increase is largely due to an increased awareness of equality and diversity amongst our managers and employees and more accurate data recording.

NIC Absence Rate %



Average cost per employee £







RECRUITMENT Recruitment within a number of departments across the business resulted in the HR Team processing 1,657 applications for vacancies. 72 new employees were appointed as a result of this recruitment.


National Ice Centre & Capital FM Arena Nottingham Annual Review 2012/13  

We are delighted to be presenting the 2012/13 Annual Review for the National Ice Centre & Capital FM Arena Nottingham; a year which has been...

National Ice Centre & Capital FM Arena Nottingham Annual Review 2012/13  

We are delighted to be presenting the 2012/13 Annual Review for the National Ice Centre & Capital FM Arena Nottingham; a year which has been...