Planet Ice rinks will offer skating lessons on World Ice Skating Day next week ©Planet Ice

The International Skating Union (ISU) has confirmed a major partnership with Planet Ice, which operates the largest chain of ice rinks in Europe.

The company is set to open the 14 rinks it operates in the United Kingdom to celebrate the inaugural World Ice Skating Day on Sunday (December 4).

"We are delighted to partner with Planet Ice for the celebration of the World Ice Skating Day," ISU President Kim Jae-youl said.

"Not only do they provide numerous skating initiatives to school children, but they also encourage youth participation with their fun and entertaining programme.

"The World Ice Skating Day is a great way to highlight their efforts and involvement in making ice rinks a fun and social place to meet."

The rinks will offer free skating access to participating schools, 250 skating lessons from the "Skate Excellence Learn to Skate" programme, an extract of the Christmas performance "Show and Skate Exhibition" as well as special initiatives for family groups.

"It is a wonderful opportunity for Planet Ice to get involved with a global ice skating festival," Planet Ice head of development Karen O'Neill said.

"The World Ice Skating Day is coming to Planet Ice, which is pursuing its mission to make Ice Skating fun for everyone," she added.

The ISU expects World Ice Skating Day to be celebrated next week in 40 countries.