Cheltenham Borough Council has announced that it will no longer host Cheltenham's Christmas ice rink at Imperial Gardens in 2022.
Cheltenham's all-weather ice rink was due to be open from Saturday 19 November 2022 until Monday 2 January 2023, but now won't return to the town until Christmas 2023.
The council described the decision as 'regrettable' and blamed the cancellation on increased event costs due to inflation and the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has resulted in a reduction of event suppliers.
Director of community and economic development at Cheltenham Borough Council, Tracey Birkinshaw, said: 'We have faced many different pressures this year and regrettably it has become clear that this year’s ice rink has become undeliverable.
'Some of the issues we’ve experienced were around procurement for a company to supply the ice rink; we carried out two rounds due to a limited response the first time. The respondent submitted a second response at approximately double the budget set out, making that option uneconomic. It also became clear that the ice rink was being sourced internationally via a third party, without certainty of deliverability.
'This, along with environmental concerns relating to the source of the ice rink we were offered, and combined with concerns in the local community, has led the council to take the difficult decision not to proceed with the event this year. We are committed to bringing back an ice rink for 2023 and are pleased that there are over 50 other festive events happening in the town for our residents and visitors.
'There will be Christmas markets on the Promenade, the annual panto at the Everyman Theatre, festive events at Pittville Pump Room and the Garden Bar by the Town Hall, as well as a brand new Nutcracker Christmas trail around town. There are lots of reasons to choose Cheltenham this Christmas and we’re looking forward to welcoming our residents and visitors to join in with our festivities and support our local businesses.'