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Gloucestershire Business News

VIDEO: New ice rink creates a buzz in Cheltenham

Cheltenham's new ice rink was successfully launched last night (Thursday) when around 170 invited guests, including Punchline editor Mark Owen, attended the official opening.

The ice rink in Imperial Gardens is open for business to regular punters today but guests last night were able to have a skate and get a taste of the attraction on a lovely November evening.

Organised by Cheltenham Borough Council, it is Gloucestershire's only covered, all-weather ice rink and offers residents and visitors a chance to glide on the ice in one of the town's most famous locations.

Rowena Hay, leader of Cheltenham Borough Council, told Punchline: "For me this has been in the making for the last 10 years. It's something we've wanted to achieve. It's really exciting because we've all had a torrid two years and this is an event which gives you a really good feelgood factor. 

"It's open to all, it's affordable, it's not over-priced and it means all the community can use it. I'm coming back tomorrow with my grandchildren and my daughter and my niece. This is what it's all about and it's a great way to start Christmas."

David Jackson, marketing manager of Marketing Cheltenham, said: "It's really important because we've had such a challenging year. Last Christmas was really rubbish but this really does put Cheltenham on the map.

"We are expecting about 30,000 people to come to Cheltenham as a consequence of the rink. They come to Cheltenham, spend their money here and come into town and spend their money there as well.

"It's trying to make Cheltenham competitive. When you are looking around the region, other places are not having their Christmas markets so Cheltenham is on the map in the whole region."

David Jones, managing director of Evans Jones chartered surveyors and planning consultants, said: "I talk a lot about repurposing the high street and what we can do 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! Historically it was the Winter Gardens and this chimes really well with Cheltenham's history right next to the Queens Hotel."

Read more: Ice rink 'should be here for the long term' 

The Cheltenham Ice Rink will be open daily (except Christmas Day), Sunday to Thursday 10am - 8pm and Friday and Saturday 10am - 10pm. For the traditional Christmas holiday fortnight between Sunday 19 December until 2 January it will be open daily 10am - 10pm except for Christmas Day.

Tickets can be booked online and are from £8 for children, £9.50 for adults, £8.50 concessions and £32 for a family ticket. Party packages and group discounts are also available. Tickets are also available from the ice rink box office, subject to availability.

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