The approval of a new facility was announced at a press conference ©IIHF

Planning permission has been granted for a new ice arena in Latvia's capital Riga.

The facility will be used as a training venue for the 2021 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship, which the country is co-hosting with Belarus.

Figure skating, short track speed skating and curling will also take place at the arena, to be built on the site of Daugava Stadium.

Latvia's top team, Dinamo Riga, played their first home matches at the stadium on an outdoor rink.

Riga's City Government are investing €10 million (£8.8 million/$11 million) in the project which will develop Daugava into a "wider sport and cultural centre".

Football and athletics currently takes place at the stadium.

"The Latvian Ice Hockey Federation is extremely excited to announce that the process of construction for the new ice hockey arena has begun," said Aigars Kalvitis, the organisation's President.

"Furthermore, this was the place where Latvian hockey legends like Haralds and Edmunds Vasilijevs, Vitalijs Samoilovs, Arturs Irbe, Juris Opulskis, Harijs Vitolins, Normunds Sejejs, and many more, began and developed their skills for their successful hockey careers. 

It is hoped the new venue will leave a lasting legacy for Latvian ice hockey ©Getty Images
It is hoped the new venue will leave a lasting legacy for Latvian ice hockey ©Getty Images

"We believe that the ice hockey arena will be important for the growth of Latvian hockey and leave a legacy for generations to come."

Matches in Latvia at the 2021 World Championships will take place at Arena Riga, a 10-minute drive away from the new venue and the home of Dinamo.

"We completely trust the country of Latvia as one of the hosts of the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship with the construction of the new ice hockey arena," said Horst Lichtner, the general secretary of the IIHF.

"We truly believe that the ice hockey arena which will function as a training facility will be built on time and ready for the World Championship in 2021."

Edgars Severs, deputy chairman of the State Secretary for the Ministry of Education and Science in Latvia, added: "I am proud of the cooperation between the Ministry of Education and Science, National Stadium Daugava and the Latvian Ice Hockey Federation and with the same energy and spirit we will continue to work to create one of the most memorable IIHF World Championships in history."