Ice Hockey UK officials held their first meeting in Belfast ahead of next year’s World Championship (Division 1B) tournament, which is being held at The SSE Arena.

Chairman Richard Grieveson and general secretary Andy French met with representatives from the arena, Belfast Giants and Belfast City Council.

They were welcomed to the city by the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Brian Kingston, who expressed the city of Belfast’s pleasure at hosting the event and reaffirmed the council’s commitment to work with IHUK to deliver a fantastic World Championship.

The afternoon was dedicated to developing the partnership and establishing a tournament committee to develop arrangements.

Grieveson said: “It has been a very productive day.

“IHUK’s developing partnership with Belfast City Council, SSE Arena colleagues and the Belfast Giants organisation to host the championship is tremendously exciting.

“Having spent time with key stakeholders today, I am very confident that together we will deliver a first-class event.”

Steve Thornton, head of hockey operations for the Stena Line Belfast Giants, said: “Thank you to the Belfast City Council and the Lord Mayor, Brian Kingston, for hosting us at City Hall.

“Without the ongoing support of the City Council, hosting the World Championship would not be possible.

“Thank you also to Richard Grieveson and Andy French for making the trip to Belfast as we begin to work towards delivering a successful tournament for all of the teams and fans in April 2017.”

Pictured above: Steve Thornton (Stena Line Belfast Giants Head of Hockey Operations), Andy French (IHUK general secretary), Brian Kingston (Lord Mayor of Belfast), Rich Grieveson (IHUK chairman) and Robert Fitzpatrick (Chief Executive of the Odyssey Trust).