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Indoor ice rink will be part of a Cheltenham Christmas Wonderland
The eagerly awaited ice rink coming to Cheltenham will be part of a new-look Christmas in the town centre.
The Christmas Market will be expanded in a project-led by Cheltenham Business Improvement District (BID) and the outdoor Imperial Garden Bar will be given a Christmas-theme and opened for the festive celebrations.
Cheltenham Borough Council’s planning committee approved the BID’s plans for an ice rink in Imperial Gardens last year.
Due to on-going work at The Quadrangle, which is undergoing a multi-million-pound refurbishment, the original site planned for the rink within the gardens will not be available.
The BID is now submitting a new application to use the neighbouring quarter of the gardens in front of the Queen’s Hotel.
It also wants to expand the Christmas Market with stalls on pavements at the Long Gardens and on either side of The Promenade close to the ice rink. This will be in addition to the traditional Christmas market area on the pedestrianised Promenade in front of Cavendish House.
The ice rink operators will be 11th Hour, who have run successful rinks across the country, including Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland this winter.
Like the Cardiff rink, the Cheltenham rink will be covered and so will be the only one in Gloucestershire to offer skating whatever the weather. The rink will have glass sides and a transparent roof.
The proposal has been welcomed by neighbouring businesses.
Erol Uray, General Manager of the Queen’s Hotel, said: “We’re delighted that there will be a new ice rink on our doorstep as part of the Christmas offer in Cheltenham this year.
“Town centres need to change to attract a wide range of customers and, with the rink, an expanded Christmas market and another spectacular lights display, Cheltenham will be able to compete with the best.”
Cheltenham BID Director Kevan Blackadder said: “We believe the ice rink and expanded Christmas markets would bring something different to Cheltenham this year.
“We’re delighted to be working with The Cheltenham Trust on their proposals for the Imperial Garden Bar, which will also help create a great visitor experience.”
Cardiff Winter Wonderland
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