The countdown to Christmas has already begun, as this festive season could see Cheltenham finally getting its highly-anticipated ice rink.
Plans for a festive ice rink in the town centre have been on the cards since 2019, but for a number of reasons – including the pandemic – it has been unable to go ahead. If plans are approved, 2021 could be the year the ice rink finally arrives.
Marketing Cheltenham submitted a temporary planning application on Monday 16 August 2021 for a Christmas ice rink in Imperial Gardens opposite the Queens Hotel.
The application seeks an amendment to a previously approved application which would see the site of the ice rink move from adjacent to the Quadrangle in Imperial Gardens, to opposite the Queens Hotel on the other side of the gardens.
This is due to the Quadrangle development and the Cheltenham Trust’s new Orangery taking up the space previously approved for the ice rink.
In the application, Marketing Cheltenham states that the 2021 Christmas period ‘will be more important than ever’ after businesses missed out on the 2020 Christmas trading period due to Covid-19 restrictions.
It goes on to say: ‘Cheltenham BID and Cheltenham Borough Council recognises therefore the need for the town to raise its game this Christmas – particularly if it is to attract visitors and shoppers back into the town in the face of increased competition from other neighbouring destinations.’
If approved, the ice rink would be at Imperial Gardens over the festive period for a maximum of 75 days between November 2021 and January 2022 and would be the ‘centrepiece to the newly extended and improved Christmas Market and Christmas lights’ in the town.