After delaying plans to open an ice rink in Cheltenham for 2019, it’s finally been confirmed that the town will get its own real ice rink for Christmas 2020.
Cheltenham BID submitted plans for the real ice rink, which was given permission to open in November 2020 and will run through to January 2021 in the town’s Imperial Gardens.
Kevan Blackadder is the director of Cheltenham Business Improvement District and told SoGlos: ‘We’ve been keen to look at doing different things in Cheltenham for a number of years. We felt that Imperial Square was the obvious place really, because it needed lots of space and to be in the middle of town.’
People living near to Imperial Gardens and the Friends of Imperial Square and Gardens had raised complaints to Cheltenham Borough Council’s planning team about the application.
The group was unhappy about the application because the space would be used for 75 days in addition to its current permission for festivals and special events. Correspondence said that the group was ‘firmly of the opinion that an extra 75 days intrusion of Imperial Gardens is a gross misuse of a vital public green space in pursuit of commercial gain.’
In response, Mr Blackadder told SoGlos: ‘There were some objections, but we met with the Friends of Imperial Square and Gardens and local residents prior to the application going in, and based on their comments we made some changes to the plans. They still weren’t happy about a couple of aspects of the plan, which were discussed by the planning committee at a meeting last night, but the council felt that we’d pulled something together that would work, and gave us approval.’
It’s likely that the rink will open around the same time as the 2020 Christmas lights switch on in Cheltenham and will run until the new year.
It’s also hoped that collaboration with Cheltenham Trust will see the Imperial Garden Bar opened for the event, allowing visitors to the ice rink to enjoy a mulled wine, or hot chocolate as they enjoy the festivities.
For more information call (01242) 571123.
Friday 22 November 2019
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