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Gloucestershire Business News

VIDEO: Ice rink 'should be here for the long term'

Cheltenham's new ice rink should be here for the long term and not just for one season, says a senior planning consultant in the town.

David Jones, managing director at Evans Jones, was talking to Punchline editor Mark Owen at the launch of the rink last night (Thursday).

He said: "This is the first time Cheltenham has had an ice rink. Gloucester has had one for a number of years. The interesting dynamic will be looking at the results once it's completed.

"It will be successful but sometimes these things take a few years and people have to work at it to build the interest and the attraction rather than perhaps looking at one year's performance

"I hope it's a great performance this year, don't get me wrong, but if it's a break-even we need to be reinvesting in this every year and create that rhythm that will get people coming back to Cheltenham and using the town and bringing all of those things that I talk about regularly to making the town a fantastic place for people to go."

Mr Jones said he talked a lot about repurposing the high street and what can be done to regenerate our towns and cities.

"This is part of the jigsaw as I see it. It's about bringing people in and creating events that people want to go to. And what a superb venue! This was historically the Winter Gardens and it chimes really well with Cheltenham's history right next to the Queens Hotel.

"But it's not just about ice skating, which is fantastic, it's about drawing people here. Once you draw people here they will go into town and they will spend. Looking at it with other initiatives in the town, extending opening hours and all of that is part of the rich mix the towns all need to consider in the round."

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