Cheltenham ice rink returns to Imperial Gardens this winter

The ice rink saw more than 30,000 visitors attend during last year's festive period and Cheltenham Borough Council hopes to make this year event 'even better'
-Credit: (Image: Mikal Ludlow Photography)

A well-loved ice rink will return to Cheltenham this year as part of the town's winter festivities. The rink is set to return to its spot at Imperial Gardens, where it was visited by over 30,000 people last Christmas, Cheltenham Borough Council said.

The all-weather rink will open daily - excluding December 25 - from Friday, November 29 to Sunday, January 5 for locals and visitors of all ages. The council has said the rink will be inclusive and fully wheelchair-accessible, with relaxed sessions for SEND visitors and discounts for school, corporate and group bookings.

Council leaders said around 31,000 skaters visited the ice rink last winter, bringing in £1.6 million to Cheltenham's economy. Though it cost more to operate than it brought in revenue last year - by around £74,000 - this year's forecast predicts a reduced investment of around £22,000 will be needed.

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Cheltenham Borough Council agreed to run the ice rink once again at a meeting back in April, subject to permissions which were granted at a planning meeting on May 30. Helen Mole, head of place marketing and inward investment at Cheltenham Borough Council, said: “Last year’s ice rink was fantastic.

"The team loved seeing so many happy people enjoying our attraction and going on into town to support our local businesses. We are delighted that we can bring the event back to Cheltenham and we’re looking forward to making this year’s event even better.”

The council has said that the special sessions for students, families and school groups offered last year will be repeated this winter, along with new activities and events.