A FOOTBALL arena in Huddersfield is set to kick off under new ownership.
Father and son-in-law Ian Richardson and Rob Kaye have set up Three Lions Leisure Ltd to run the former Skylark soccer venue at Wakefield Road, Waterloo.
The premises will be renamed Three Lions Leisure and will open on Saturday, August 2.
Trading will begin on Monday, August 4.
Now the partners are inviting teams to register to play at the indoor venue for five-a-side.
The premises have been leased from owner Total Fitness (UK) Ltd which has its fitness centre nearby.
The football arena was previously occupied by Skylark Leisure (Huddersfield) Ltd, which went into liquidation last autumn when the arena was closed down.
The premises were later marketed by commercial property agent Eddisons and attracted several interested parties.
Mr Kaye said: "We became involved about January.
"Ian and I talked it over for a couple of weeks and decided to put in an offer." Mr Kaye, 23, lives at Almondbury where he attended King James's School.
Before launching the new company, he worked for an accountancy firm in Halifax.
Page 2: Planning for the future + have your say!
He played local league football for Almondbury, but has now hung up his boots to focus on running the business.
Mr Richardson, of Kirkheaton, is a self-employed joiner who has worked on shopfitting projects all over the country.
The new owners will also manage the 35,000sq ft venue.
Mr Kaye said some work was needed to give the football arena a facelift.
Repairs were needed to the artificial playing surface and nets separating the four pitches would be replaced.
New showers, lighting and benches would be fitted, but the bar area would not reopen immediately.
Mr Kaye said: "Skylark was very popular and we will be seeking to recapture that popularity by promoting the venue among local businesses.
"We will be running a series of leagues.
"We also plan to have FA accreditation and we are talking to Kirklees Council about schools using the venue on weekdays."
Mr Kaye said: "We have both got a lot of energy and enthusiasm to put into this business."
Alec Michael, of Eddisons in Huddersfield, said: "Total Fitness were quite keen to keep the football arena for leisure use to complement their own operations.
"There was interest from other parties in the site reverting to its previous use as warehousing,
"But this outcome is good news for the town."